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Goldman Sachs Profit Doubles

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GOLDMAN SACHS
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., smiles during an interview hosted by Politico in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Blankfein said debate about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates may help avoid 'a jarring surprise' to markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Getty


* 2nd-qtr EPS $3.70/shr vs $1.78 year earlier

* Analysts had expected earnings of $2.82/shr

* Revenue investing and lending jumps

* Goldman shares up 1.3 pct before the bell.

July 16 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's quarterly profit doubled, beating Wall Street estimates by a wide margin, as the bank made more from investing its own money and from underwriting.

Goldman's net income rose to $1.86 billion, or $3.70 per share, in the second quarter from $927 million, or $1.78 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $2.82 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Goldman shares were up 1.3 percent at $165.13 before the bell.

Revenue in the bank's fixed income, currency and commodities, or FICC, trading unit, which reflects income from client trading, rose 12 percent to $2.46 billion.

Goldman's investing and lending unit, which invests the firm's own capital, generated revenue of $1.42 billion in the quarter, up from $203 million a year earlier, driven by a tripling of revenue from debt securities and loans.

The bank's net revenue rose 30 percent to $8.61 billion.

The bond market has been a big breadwinner for Goldman Sachs over the past decade, delivering nearly half of the company's revenue in the best year.

But Goldman's trading and investing units are undergoing changes, driven mostly by regulation, that have made it more expensive to be in many of the businesses that once delivered massive profits.

As a result, return-on-equity (ROE) - a closely watched measure that shows how much profit a bank can squeeze from its balance sheet - has been pressured in recent years as it has become more expensive for banks to hold risky assets.

Still, Goldman managed to produce 10.5 percent ROE in the quarter, above the 8 percent some analysts were expecting and the 10 percent benchmark that analysts say is break-even to meet a bank's cost of capital.

Overall investment banking revenue rose 29 percent to $1.55 billion, helped by a 45 percent increase in underwriting revenue.

"Improving economic conditions in the U.S. drove client activity..." Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that "the operating environment has shown noticeable signs of improvement."

Goldman's results echoed similar trends in the investment banking units of JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc , whose fixed-income trading businesses also benefited from increased client activity early in the quarter.

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