Updated from 8:51 a.m. ESTWall Street firms are making more money than even the most bullish investors predicted, at least based on the 64% profit gain posted by Goldman Sachs ( GS) in the first quarter. The storied investment bank didn't just exceed analyst expectations, it crushed them, posting a 56% year-over-year gain in revenue. In the quarter, Goldman Sachs earned $2.48 billion, or $5.08 a share, up from $1.5 billion, or $3.35 a share in the year-ago period. Total revenues were $10.3 billion. Analysts as surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting Goldman Sachs to earn $3.29 a share. Revenues at the investment firm were expected to tally $7.2 billion. The Wall Street firm performed well in all of its lines of business, especially trading, where revenue rose 61% to $6.69 billion. Investment banking revenue was up 68% to $1.47 billion. In another sign of the firm's robust profitability, Goldman Sachs announced it was boosting its quarterly dividend by a dime to 35 cents a share. In premarket trading, shares of Goldman Sachs rose $5.33, or 3.8%, to $146.05. The trading gains at Goldman Sachs, which includes trading for the firm's own account as well as making markets for its customers, came from stocks, bonds and commodities. In fact, equity-related trading revenue showed surprising strength in the quarter, rising 94% to $1.6 billion. Revenue from bond and commodities trading rose 50% to $3.7 billion. To score those gains, Goldman Sachs stuck its neck out. The closely watched "value at risk" metric, which gauges how much money a firm could lose in a single day if all its trades went bad, was $92 million in the quarter, up from $65 million a year ago and $80 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. One thing skeptics have been warning about in the recent years is that big Wall Street firms are putting too much of their own capital at risk to generate outsized trading profits. So far, Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs have shown those risks are worth taking, as they've generally posted strong trading gains for two straight years.