* Two analysts downgrade shares
* Bloomberg poll finds negative sentiment on Goldman
* Goldman share trading volume is double daily average
By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Brenton Cordeiro
NEW YORK/BANGALORE, May 12 Goldman Sachs Group
Inc (GS.N) shares fell as much as 4.9 percent on Thursday after
two analysts downgraded the stock and press reports said the
bank's profits and reputation might suffer.
A Bloomberg poll of 1,263 traders, investors and analysts
showed 54 percent hold a negative opinion of the bank, which is
facing regulatory probes, lawsuits and public scrutiny.
Veteran bank analyst Richard Bove downgraded Goldman Sachs
on Thursday to "sell" from "neutral," citing factors including
potential legal pressure on the bank and a negative piece in
Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi, who once famously described
Goldman as a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of
Goldman shares were down $6.41 to $141.47 in afternoon
trading after falling as low as $140.67 earlier in the session.
Trading volume was twice the daily average.
The Bloomberg survey results, released Thursday, come just
days after Goldman disclosed that Commodity Futures Trading
Commission staff has recommended the agency file charges
against the bank following a probe of its clearing business.
The bank also confirmed that the Justice Department is
investigating its actions in the derivatives market in 2007.
Those matters were first targeted by the Securities and
Exchange Commission in a civil fraud lawsuit last year and were
brought up again in a 650-page report from a congressional
Standard & Poor's equity analyst Chris Maimone downgraded
Goldman to "hold" from "buy" and lowered his target price to
$156 from $176.
Bove said public pressure could force Goldman to change.
"It is clear to outsiders that there must be a major
restructuring of the company at the board and executive suite
levels or Congress will not be satisfied," said Bove. "The
company continues to fight such a change."
(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York and Brenton
Cordeiro in Bangalore; editing by John Wallace)