The New York-based firm reported net income for common shareholders of $498 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $7.7 billion or $7.38 a share, in the year-ago period.
The 2008 figures were boosted by a one-off accounting gain resulting from declines in the value of certain liabilities in the bank's portfolio.
Analysts on average forecast earnings of 27 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The following is reaction from industry analysts and investors:
MICHAEL HOLLAND, PRESIDENT, HOLLAND & CO, NEW YORK
The well announced strategy of less risk taking reduced the expectations somewhat, and therefore, they were able to outperform.
The expectations were not huge as they were in the case of Goldman, for example, they outperformed the expectations, and that is good thing, and that's why the stock is up.
At least for this quarter, the management strategy and the business model are working and the stock is reflecting that. You don't know how well they will be in succeeding in the future with this business model, but for now that is a very good performance in the quarter.
(Reporting by Juan Lagorio)