Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) reported its earnings early this morning, smashing the expectations of Wall Street. Earnings per share were at $5.60 compared to the consensus of analysts at $3.66 per share. The bank’s revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $9.24 billion compared to the consensus of $7.83 billion.

Goldman Sachs Inc

It reported net revenues of $2.89 billion for the quarter and diluted earnings per common share of $5.60 per share, compared to $1.84 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011 and $2.85 per share for the third quarter of 2012. Annualized return on average common shareholders’ equity was 16.5 percent for the quarter.

In a company statement issued this morning, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) said its net revenues for the 2012 fiscal year were $34.16 billion, and its net earnings were $7.48 billion. Diluted earnings per share for the year were $14.13 per share, compared to $4.51 per share the year before.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), which is the fifth largest U.S. bank according to assets, said it ranked first in “worldwide announced and completed mergers and acquisitions for the year” and also in “worldwide equity and equity-related offerings and common stock offerings for the year.” The bank’s debt underwriting brought $1.96 billion in net revenues, which it says is the second best annual performance and the highest one since 2007.

“While economic conditions remained challenging for much of last year, the strengths of our business model and client franchise, coupled with our focus on disciplined management, delivered solid performance for our shareholders,” chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein said in the company’s statement. “The firm’s strategic position provides a solid basis on which to grow and generate superior returns.”

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) are up 3 percent and rising in pre-market trades on this report.