Goldman Sachs Reports Earnings Early

Goldman Sachs was expected to release earnings tomorrow morning before the open but decided to release after the bell today and will follow up with a conference call tomorrow morning.

Goldman Sachs (GS) reported net revenues of $9.43 billion and earnings of $1.81 billion for the first quarter, beating market expectations. Trading and Principal Investments were strong, up almost 40% from the first quarter of 2008. Trading and Principal Investments had significant losses just last quarter.

Compensation and benefits were 18% higher than the first quarter of 2008 which was attributed to their higher revenues. The report also states that employment levels decreased about 7% in the first quarter of 2009.

In a separate announcement, Goldman confirmed rumors of a $5 billion public offering which will be used (in addition to their current capital) to pay back the $10 billion in TARP funds (if the government will allow it). The bigger question is why issue more shares and dilute current shareholders when you are sitting on over $100 billion in cash in the bank? Perhaps that will come up on the call tomorrow...

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