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Goldman_Sachs_NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted a 72 percent decline in first-quarter profit as it made less money from trading bonds for clients.

The largest U.S. investment bank posted a profit to common shareholders of $908 million, or $1.56 a share, compared with $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Results in the latest quarter were also hit by the repurchase of $5 billion of preferred shares from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The redemption resulted in a special preferred dividend of $1.64 billion. Excluding that charge, the bank would have earned $4.38 a share.

Revenue fell 7 percent.

Goldman Sachs set aside $5.23 billion for employee compensation in the quarter, a 5 percent decline from the same quarter last year.

Copyright Reuters, 2011

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