Goldman Sachs' profits soared in the first quarter on heavy merger and acquisition activity and strong trading levels in financial markets, earnings released Thursday showed.
Net income rose nearly 40 percent to $2.7 billion compared with the year-ago period.
The investment bank prospered from a wave of dealmaking that has resulted in large transactions in the pharmaceutical, energy and other sectors. Net revenues in financial advisory were $961 million, 41 percent higher than in 2014.
Goldman also benefited from a 10 percent rise in revenues in fixed income, currency and commodity client execution to $3.13 billion. Activity in foreign exchange trading was high due to major policy decisions by central banks, including in Switzerland and the eurozone.
The bank also notched a 46 percent increase in equity trading, which "operated in an environment generally characterized by more favorable market-making conditions, generally higher global equity prices and strong client activity level."
Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said he was "pleased" with the results.
"Given more normalized markets and higher levels of client activity, we remain encouraged about the prospects for continued growth," he said.
Earnings translated into $5.94 per share, far above the $4.26 projected by Wall Street analysts.
Revenues rose 13.8 percent to $10.62 billion, topping analyst forecasts for $9.35 billion.
Goldman shares rose 0.5 percent to $202.00 in pre-market trade.