Goldman Sachs Posts Record $3.2 Billion Quarterly Profit

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the largest investment bank by market value, said on Tuesday quarterly earnings rose to a record, despite recent fears that mortgage market woes and flagging stocks would hurt results.

The world's top merger advisor and stock underwriter said net earnings increased to a record $3.20 billion, or $6.67 a share, in the three months ended February 28, up from of $2.48 billion, or $5.08, in the year-ago period. Net revenue rose to a record $12.73 billion from $10.34 billion.

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Goldman kicked off the earnings reporting period for investment banks at a time of growing uncertainty about the outlook of financial markets worldwide. After most Wall Street firms delivered a third consecutive year of record profit in 2006, banks face a more difficult environment marked by worries about economic growth.

Yet Goldman remains the Street's most successful trading house, is by far the most active M&A adviser and has reaped big profits from investing its own money.

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