* Third-quarter profit $2.88/share vs est $2.43
* FICC revenue falls 44 percent to $1.25 billion
* Quarterly dividend increased to 55 cents/shr from 50
* Shares drop 2.5 pct in premarket trading
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's third-quarter profit fell 2 percent as weak bond-trading volumeshit revenue in its biggest business, pushing down the bank'sshares in premarket trade.
Revenue from Goldman's fixed income, currency andcommodities (FICC) business, which undertakes trading forclients, fell 44 percent to $1.25 billion in the quarter endedSept. 30.
The fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets reported a profit of$1.43 billion, or $2.88 per share, beating the average analystestimate of $2.43, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In the year-earlier period, the bank earned $1.46 billion,or $2.85 per share.
Goldman's shares fell 2.5 percent to $158.23 in premarkettrading despite the stronger-than-expected earnings and an increase in quarterly dividend to 55 cents per share from 50.
"The third quarter's results reflected a period of slowclient activity," Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfeinsaid in a statement.
Fixed-income trading was muted for several weeks leading upto the Federal Reserve's meeting in mid-September amidspeculation that the central bank was about to start windingdown its bond-buying stimulus program.
Goldman was not the only Wall Street bank to be stung byweak fixed-income trading. However, it is more reliant ontrading income than its bigger rivals, which have significantconsumer banking operations.
JPMorgan Chase & Co's trading revenue fell 8 percentin the latest quarter, while Citigroup Inc's dropped 26percent and Bank of America Corp's about 20 percent.
Revenue from Goldman's own investments also fell. Revenuefrom loans and principal investments slid 18 percent to $1.48billion.
Equity trading revenue dropped 18 percent to $1.62 billion,while investment banking advisory revenue slid 17 percent to$423 million. However, underwriting revenue rose 13 percent $743million.
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