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Trading Shines at Goldman

Goldman Sachs (GS) shined through the dark clouds hanging over Wall Street, as strong trading results powered its third-quarter numbers past analysts' estimates.

Goldman made $2.85 billion, or $6.13 a share, for the quarter ended Aug. 31, up from the year-ago $1.59 billion, or $3.26 a share. Revenue surged to $12.33 billion from $7.58 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $4.35 a share on revenue of $9.57 billion.

"Given the difficult environment of the third quarter, many of our businesses were challenged," said CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein. "But overall, the quality of our franchise produced strong results as clients continue to look to us for advice and execution. The strength of our client relationships, the diversity of our businesses, and the talent and teamwork of our people continue to drive our performance."

How high do you think Goldman should trade after this report?
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Trading revenue surged 70% from a year ago and 24% sequentially to $8.23 billion. Investment banking revenue jumped 67% from a year ago to $2.15 billion, and underwriting revenue rose 8% to $733 million.

The news comes as investors have been bracing for weaker numbers at the big investment banks, as the collapse of the mortgage business has led to a credit crunch that threatens to weigh down balance sheets with debt tied to leveraged buyouts.

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