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Goldman’s profit reaches $2.89b

NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $2.89 billion, or $5.60 a share, a significant jump from the period a year earlier.

The per-share figure is after the company paid preferred dividends, and comes in well ahead of analysts’ expectations of $3.78 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

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Analysts had been anticipating a fairly decent quarter for Goldman, and its results were buoyed by strong trading and investment banking results and lower compensation costs. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the bank earned $1.84 a share.

The bank’s most recent results reflect a continued focus on cutting expenses as well as a number of investing gains, including $485 million from debt and security loans, the company said.

The results had an immediate effect on the company’s stock, which closed 4 percent higher at $141.09 on Wednesday.

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