Goldman Sachs reported Wednesday that its fourth quarter earnings declined 53%.

The company reported earnings of $2.39 billion, or $3.79 per share, as revenue declined 10% to $8.64 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $3.76 per share and revenue of $9 billion.

The company reported that many of its units had a difficult quarter, including its trading desks, which reported weaker volume.

“Market and economic conditions for much of 2010 were difficult, but the firm’s performance benefited from the strength of our global client franchise and the focus and commitment of our people,” Lloyd C. Blankfein, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we are seeing signs of growth and more economic activity, and we are well-positioned to help our clients expand their businesses, manage their risks and invest in the future.”

The difficult quarter comes after a slow third quarter when the company reported 40% to $1.9 billion.

As a result of the weaker quarters, Goldman decreased its compensation slightly. The company reported it set aside $15.38 billion for compensation, down 5% from a year earlier. The ratio of compensation to revenue was 39%.


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