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Bear Stearns


easily topped Wall Street's third-quarter earnings estimates, saying its net income nearly doubled from last year as revenue climbed almost 29%.

The investment bank earned $313.4 million, or $2.30 a share, for the quarter ended Aug. 31, up from $164.4 million, or $1.23 a share, last year. Net revenue rose to $1.49 billion from $1.15 billion a year ago.

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Bear Stearns said net revenue from its capital markets segment jumped 42% to $1.2 billion in the third quarter, from $859.5 million last year. Investment banking revenue totaled $299.7 million, up 83.2% from $163.6 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue from the institutional equities division fell to $200.5 million, a 30.5% decrease from $288.6 million for the prior-year quarter. The company attributed the drop to a decline in market volatility and average daily trading volumes, which reduced institutional commission revenue and convertible arbitrage revenue.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected the company to earn $1.65 a share in the third quarter.

Shares of Bear Stearns were adding $1.28, or 1.8%, to $73.75 in Instinet premarket trading.