Business Digest: Trading gains drive up Goldman Sachs’ profits


FINANCE

Trading gains drive up Goldman Sachs’ profits

Goldman Sachs’ earnings soared in the third quarter, driven largely by trading and investment gains. The results easily surpassed analysts’ estimates.

The New York-based company said Tuesday that it earned $2.1 billion, or $4.88 per share, up from $1.33 billion, or $2.90 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Wall Street analysts were expecting Goldman to earn $3.82 a share, according to FactSet.

While the firm’s investment banking division reported flat revenue, Goldman’s trading desks and the division where it invests its own money did exceptionally well.

Revenue in Goldman’s fixed income, currencies and commodities division jumped 34 percent to $1.96 billion. Goldman benefited from similar forces that helped boost trading of other major Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.

AUTOMAKERS

Hyundai recalls Genesis Coupes to fix air bag

DETROIT — Hyundai is recalling more than 84,000 cars in the U.S. because a wiring problem can cause the front passenger air bag to malfunction.

The recall covers Genesis Coupes from the 2010 to 2016 model years.

The company says in government documents that an electrical connector for the passenger seat air bag sensor can become disconnected. That can cause the air bag to inflate when a child is in the seat or deploy with too little force to protect an adult. In both cases, passengers could be hurt, but Hyundai says it has no reports of injuries.

Dealers will secure the wiring to make sure it stays connected. The recall is expected to start on Dec. 2.

HEALTH CARE

UnitedHealth tops expectations, raises forecast

UnitedHealth Group hiked its 2016 earnings forecast again after its profit swelled 23 percent to nearly $2 billion in the third quarter, helped by gains both in and outside its core insurance business.

The nation’s biggest health insurer now expects adjusted, full-year earnings of about $8 per share, up from its previous forecast of $7.80 to $7.95 per share.

Wall Street had been projecting per-share earnings of $7.93, according to FactSet, and the company’s stock rose before the opening bell Tuesday.

Operating earnings jumped more than 10 percent to $2.1 billion for the company’s UnitedHealthcare business, which sells insurance and runs Medicaid plans.

Overall, UnitedHealth earned $1.97 billion in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, up from $1.6 billion in the previous year’s quarter. Adjusted earnings totaled $2.17 per share in the most recent quarter.

Analysts had forecast earnings of $2.08 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

UnitedHealth executives said Tuesday that they were comfortable so far with consensus Wall Street forecasts for next year. The company will offer a specific outlook late next month.

COURTS

Court hears copyright dispute over ‘Happy Together’

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s highest court has heard oral arguments in a case pitting the owner of The Turtles’ 1967 hit song “Happy Together” against Sirius XM Radio.

The issue in Tuesday’s hearing was whether the copyright holders of recordings made before 1972 have a common law right to make radio stations and others pay for their use.

The lawsuit was filed by Flo & Eddie Inc., a company controlled by two founding members of the band that owns the rights to the recordings. It wants the court to say they’re entitled to royalties.

Sirius XM Radio argues it’s not required to pay royalties for recordings made before the federal Copyright Act was changed in 1972 to establish limited protections for recordings.

The case was referred to the Court of Appeals from a federal appeals court.


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