Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) beat analysts’ estimates Thursday when the giant New York investment bank reported quarterly earnings of $4.60 per share, down from $5.60 a year earlier, and fourth-quarter revenue of $8.78 billion, compared with $9.24 billion a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected earnings of $4.22 per share and $7.71 billion in revenue.

Investment banking produced $6 billion in net revenues, the bank’s second-highest annual performance, and underwriting produced record net revenues of $4.03 billion, including net revenues in debt underwriting.

Assets under supervision increased 8 percent from a year ago to a record $1.04 trillion, and $41 billion in net inflows in long-term assets under supervision during 2013 were the highest since 2007.

Investment management brought in net revenues of $5.46 billion, the second highest annual performance.

"Our work in advancing our client franchise and in ensuring continued cost discipline has allowed us to provide solid returns even in a somewhat challenging environment,” Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in the earnings release. 

Goldman Sachs ranked first worldwide in announced and completed mergers and acquisitions, equity and equity-related offerings, common stock offerings and initial public offerings for 2013.