On Monday Goldman Sachs showed yet another sign proving the recovery of banks after it beat Wall Street expectations with its $1.66 billion profit for the first quarter of 2009.

Together with the profit announcement, the bank also said it planned to raise $5 billion in stock to help it pay back government bailout funds.

The New York-based bank said it earned $3.39 per share, easily surpassing analysts' forecasts for profit of $1.64 per share. This compares with earnings of $1.47 billion, or $3.23 per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 29 of last year, and is a huge improvement over the $2.29 billion Goldman lost in the fourth quarter.

Goldman's news, released a day earlier than anticipated, came days after another top-performing bank, Wells Fargo & Co., said it expected to report record first-quarter earnings of $3 billion, well above Wall Street's estimates.

Other big national banking groups; Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. are yet to report their first quarter results.

Despite the favorable results reported, it however remains too soon to conclude that banking industry is indeed finally recovering from the devastating losses caused by the credit crisis and the recession.

Investors showed some caution after Goldman's announcement, which followed the close of regular trading on Wall Street. Goldman shares initially rose in response to its report but then slipped 1.5 percent.

Citigroup, which surged 25 percent during regular trading, rose a more modest 1 percent in after-hours activity while Bank of America rose 0.7 percent after jumping 15 percent during regular trading. Morgan Stanley fell 3.3 percent in late trading after jumping 6 percent during regular hours.