FILE PHOTO: A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company’s post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) reported a 49% fall in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the bank put aside nearly $1 billion to meet future loan defaults and booked heavy losses on its debt and equity investments.

The bank’s net earnings applicable to common shareholders fell to $1.12 billion in the quarter ended March 31 from $2.18 billion a year ago. Earnings per share fell to $3.11 from $5.71 a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $3.35 per share, on average, according to the IBES estimate from Refinitiv. It was not immediately clear whether those estimates were comparable.

“Our quarterly profitability was inevitably affected by the economic dislocation,” said Goldman Chief Executive David Solomon. “As public policy measures to stem the pandemic take root, I am firmly convinced that our firm will emerge well-positioned.”

Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bangalore and Elizabeth Dilts in New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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