Goldman trims U.S. staff: sources

Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:51pm EDT

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) trimmed staff in its U.S. operations on Thursday, amid a slowdown in capital markets activity, three people familiar with the matter said.

The investment bank cut several dozen jobs at its offices in New York, New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Utah, said the people, who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

It was unclear whether similar cuts occurred globally, but they affected employees at all levels, two of the sources said.

The bank, which employed 32,400 people at the end of March, cut dozens of jobs earlier this month.

Goldman declined to comment.

Wall Street is bracing for weak second-quarter earnings reports from global investment banks next month, due to weak trading volumes and a sharp drop in deal activity.

Analysts and consultants predict that banks will cut more jobs this year - perhaps another 5 percent of staff - due to weak profits, even after thousands of job cuts last year.

Analysts expect Goldman to deliver $1.70 in earnings per share when it reports results on July 17, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That would be an 8 percent decline from Goldman's $1.85 per share in earnings a year ago and less than half of the $3.92 per share the investment bank earned in the first quarter.

Over the past 30 days, analysts have lowered their second-quarter estimates for Goldman Sachs by 32 percent, and brought full-year estimates down by 8 percent.

(Reporting By Lauren Tara LaCapra; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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