Sept 11 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is very well positioned to further capture market share, Citigroup analysts said, as they raised their outlook and price target to account for strong capital markets activity, declining systemic risks and improving deal pipeline.
"Third quarter is benefiting from slightly better than expected July and August, and we expect a strong September," analysts, including Keith Horowitz, wrote in a note to clients.
They raised earnings estimates for the U.S. bank to $4 a share from $3.20 for the third quarter, and to $4.75 from $4.25 for the fourth quarter, on higher trading revenue and better principal investment results.
Goldman ranked No. 1 in core fixed income, currency and commodities, and equity trading fees among top global banks, according to Citigroup analysts' first half of 2009 scorecard. "We expect (Goldman's) leadership to continue near term," they said. In addition, recent deal announcements are boosting Goldman's merger and acquisition pipeline, setting up for better advisory fees in the first half of next year, the analysts said. Citigroup analysts reiterated their "buy" recommendation on the stock, and raised their price target on Goldman shares to $215 from $175.
Prominent banking analyst Meredith Whitney on Thursday said she still has a buy on Goldman and that the company "still has a lot of gas in its tank."
Goldman in July reported robust net earnings of $3.4 billion for the second quarter, soon after repaying a $10 billion bailout received from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Shares of the company closed at $174.87 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)