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Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Report Strong First Quarters

numberone-money [1]Both Goldman Sachs [2] and Citigroup [3] reported strong first quarters though revenues were down for Citi compared to this time last year, according to statements released by the companies Thursday.

Goldman reported [4] its highest net revenues in four years, $10.62 billion, with net earnings of $2.84 billion for Q1. The earnings were driven by strong showings in the firm’s institutional client services and investment banking sectors, which produced $5.46 billion and $1.91 billion in revenues, respectively. Client services were 23 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2014 and 73 percent higher than in the fourth quarter. Investment banking was up 7 percent compared to Q1 of 2014 and 32 percent compared to Q4, the firm announced.

Fixed income, currency and commodities client execution also showed impressive gains, pulling in $3.13 billion in net revenues for Q1‒‒10 percent higher than Q1 2014. This, according to the firm, was mainly due to higher net revenues in currencies and interest rate products, partially offset by significantly lower net revenues in credit products, commodities, and mortgages, Goldman announced.

Goldman also ranked first in worldwide mergers and acquisitions and for worldwide equity and equity-related offerings and common stock offerings, year-to-date, according to its statement.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he was pleased with the fact that “all of our major businesses contributed” to the strong first quarter. “Given more normalized markets and higher levels of client activity, we remain encouraged about the prospects for continued growth,” he said.

Citigroup reported [5] a Q1 net income of $4.8 billion, up from $3.9 billion compared to a year ago. The bank’s 2015 revenues ($19.7 billion), however, were down compared to the first quarter of 2014, when they were $20.2 billion.

Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, said the announced sale of OneMain, the largest business remaining in Citi Holdings and which the bank sold to Springleaf Holdings [6] for $4.25 billion in March, helped make for a profitable quarter.

"We had a strong quarter overall, particularly in executing against our top strategic priorities,” Corbat said, adding that the bank grew loans and deposits in its core businesses and tightly managed its expenses.

Citigroup's operating expenses were $10.9 billion in Q1, 10 percent lower than they were a year earlier.  This, according to the bank, was due to lower legal expenses and repositioning costs, as well as the impact of foreign exchange translation.