It was a tough operating environment in Q4, says analyst Steve Stelmach, "however, we believe the company's top- and bottom-line results are reason for optimism as we move into 2014." He reiterates his Outperform rating and raises the price target to $200 from $184.
Increasing clarity on both regulatory and market issues - Volcker is settled and the taper is underway - "may potentially lead to a better operating environment for broker/dealers."
"Goldman's (GS +0.8%) business model is set up to capitalize on any incremental market and economic improvement. Regardless, our outlook reflects a similarly uninspiring ROE to what GS posted in 2013, yet we remain positive on shares due to valuation that more than reflects these modest ROE expectations."