Goldman Sachs (GS) reported a first-quarter profit of $2.11 billion, or $3.92 a share, a 23% drop from a year earlier when the firm earned $2.74 billion, but still beating analysts' estimates.

Net income available to common shareholders rose to $2.07 billion in the quarter from $908 million in the year ago period. The large growth is due to a $1.83 billion preferred stock dividend payout in the first quarter of 2011. That brought earnings per share per common shareholder up from $1.56 a year earlier, above the $3.55 a share consensus from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Goldman, the fifth largest bank by assets, reported revenue of $9.95 billion, down 16% from a year earlier and up 64% from the previous quarter.

Investment banking revenue fell 9% to $1.15 billion from first quarter 2011’s revenue of of $1.27 billion.  

The bank reported total assets of $951 billion in the quarter compared to $923 billion a year earlier.