Merrill Lynch( MER) earned 94 cents a share in the third quarter, easily topping analysts' expectations, according to Reuters.

Analysts had expected the company would earn 85 cents a share, according to

I/B/E/S

.

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The big brokerage firm earned $885 million in the period, compared with $579 million, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier, the news service said. Net revenue rose 15% to $6.1 billion. The increase was largely driven by rising money management and portfolio service fees, which were up 20%. But in a sign of the market's weakness, the firm's investment banking revenue, or money it brings in from helping companies with mergers and stock offerings, fell 10%.