Goldman Sachs in talks to settle DOJ probe into sales of mortgage securities before the crisis

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported second-quarter earnings that fell 49% from a year earlier on higher legal costs tied to a potential settlement of mortgage-related probes.

Net income dropped to $1.05 billion, or $1.98 a share, from $2.04 billion, or $4.10, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. Excluding the legal costs, earnings were $4.75 a share, beating the $3.96 average estimate of 24 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Goldman Sachs set aside $1.45 billion for litigation and regulatory proceedings this quarter, about five times more than a year earlier. The firm is in talks to be the latest major bank to settle a Justice Department probe into sales of mortgage securities before the financial crisis.

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