Anyone trade this stock... everytime i look over its up another dollar. Goldman, the No. 3 U.S. investment bank, kicked off the quarterly earnings season for Wall Street firms by reporting its third-best revenue and earnings per share. The solid results surprised analysts who had cut their forecasts and warned a market downturn that began in May could mark the end of a four-year streak of ever-higher profit. "It was a very good quarter. It was a tough summer for them, but Goldman is a money machine," said Sanford Bernstein brokerage analyst Brad Hintz. New York-based Goldman (NYSE:GS - News) said net income fell 2 percent to $1.59 billion, for the three months ended August 25, from $1.62 billion in the year-earlier period. Per-share profit rose a penny to $3.26 a share, due to stock buybacks, while net revenue rose 2 percent to $7.46 billion. Excluding $133 million in non-cash expenses related to stock-based compensation, the firm had operating earnings of $1.68 billion, or $3.45 a share. On that basis, Goldman exceeded the average analyst forecast of $2.98 by 16 percent. "The third-quarter environment was more challenging across virtually all of our business," Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said in a conference call. "Despite these conditions, we produced the third-best revenue quarter in our history. Combined with a sizzling first half, Goldman has already earned more this year than in any full year in its history. Goldman shares rose $5.98, or 4 percent, to $156.98 in early afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Goldman had been little changed during the quarter, lagging a 4 percent gain by the broader S&P 500 Index, and sold off 11 percent after hitting a record in April amid concern that brokerage earnings had peaked earlier this year.