Goldman Profit at Five-Year High as Every Business Tops Estimate (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. posted the highest earnings per share in more than five years as all of its major businesses topped analysts’ estimates and the firm paid out a smaller portion of revenue to compensate employees. Net income surged 40 percent to $2.84 billion, or $5.94 a share, from $2.03 billion, or $4.02, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. That was higher than all 26 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.
Citigroup Beats Estimates as Cost Cuts Cushion Trading Slump (Bloomberg)
First-quarter net income jumped 21 percent to $4.77 billion, or $1.51 a share, the firm said Thursday. Excluding accounting adjustments, earnings per share were $1.52, surpassing the $1.39 average estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Former Fed Chief Ben Bernanke to Advise Hedge Fund Citadel (WSJ)
Mr. Bernanke will consult on developments in monetary policy, financial markets and the global economy, Citadel said in a release. “His insights on monetary policy and the capital markets will be extremely valuable to our team and to our investors,” said Citadel founder and chief executive Ken Griffin in the statement.
School For Strippers Closes Due To Noise Complaints (AP)
"If they had flown under the radar, they'd still be in business," said Hillsborough sheriff's deputy Phil Acaba, who investigated the events at the mansion. "The noise was the issue that brought their downfall." The owner of the school billed it as an agency for "top earning exotic dancers and models." The mansion is owned by Pink Tati LLC, but the principal owner is Canadian millionaire Gordon Lownds. In an interview Monday, Lownds told the newspaper he has ceased all commercial activity at the 12,000-square-foot house, shutting down its modeling school for exotic dancers.
IMF knocks Greek debt rescheduling hopes (FT)
Greek officials have made an informal approach to the International Monetary Fund to delay repayments of loans to the international lender, highlighting the parlous state of Greek finances, but were told that no rescheduling was possible. According to officials briefed on the talks by both sides, Athens was persuaded not to make a specific request for a delay to the Fund, which is owed almost €1bn in two separate payments due in May.
Netflix Stock Soars to All-Time High as Customers Top 62 Million (Bloomberg)
U.S. subscribers jumped by 2.28 million in the first quarter, while international accounts rose 2.6 million, Netflix said Wednesday on its website. Both figures beat its Jan. 20 forecast. Sales grew 24 percent to $1.57 billion, matching analysts’ projections.
Japan Tops China as Largest U.S. Creditor (WSJ)
Japan dethroned China as the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys for the first time since the financial crisis, following a wave of purchases by buyers shifting money to the U.S. as Japan’s economic policies push down interest rates there.
Blackstone CEO: We're an 'earnings machine' (CNBC)
Blackstone reported much better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, prompting Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman to declare his private equity firm an "earnings machine." "We are the most profitable money manager in the world," boasted the co-founder of Blackstone, which has $310 billion in assets under management. "We just have an economic model that doesn't depend on a [particular] quarter's earnings." Blackstone reported economic net income of $1.37 a share—well above expectations of $1.04 a share. Revenue for the latest quarter was $2.51 billion, beating estimates of $2.09 billion.
California barber cuts hair into Mayweather/Pacquiao portrait (UPI)
Derek Hernandez, 23, a barber at Ajja's in Antioch, is drawing national attention for his ability to cut and color realistic portraits including Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry into the hair on customers' heads. Hernandez, aka Derek the Barber or DTB, said his latest creation, the heads of boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to promote their upcoming fight, took about two hours to complete and cost $150.