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Goldman Sachs earnings edge down, beat expectations

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New York (AFP)

Goldman Sachs reported slightly lower third-quarter profits Tuesday, but beat analyst expectations as a strong performance by the bank's investments offset weakness in trading.

Net income for the quarter ending September 30 was $2.0 billion, down three percent from the year-ago period.

Revenues rose 1.9 percent to $8.3 billion.

Wall Street firms have been pressured by steep declines in the fixed income, currency and commodity trading business due to low volatility and an increase in automated trading platforms. This trend held at Goldman, where the division's revenues sank 26 percent from the year-ago quarter.

However, Goldman countered that weakness with gains in its investing and lending division, which consists of Goldman's own holdings of private and publicly traded securities, loans and investment funds.

Revenues were also higher in the investment banking division, boosted by an increase in completed mergers.

"Our overall performance this year has been solid and provides a good foundation on which to execute and deliver our growth initiatives," said chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Earnings translated into $5.02 per share, better than the $4.17 expected by analysts.

Shares rose 1.2 percent in pre-market trading to $245.24.

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