Goldman Sachs Group reported a 66% surge in third-quarter earnings that swept past expectations on Friday, as Wall Street's biggest investment bank rode a record wave of M&A activity that has boosted profit at other large US banks too.

Net earnings applicable to common shareholders rose to $5.28 billion in the quarter ended 30 September, from $3.23 billion a year ago.

Earnings per share rose to $14.93 from $8.98 a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $10.11 per share, according to the IBES estimate from Refinitiv.

Goldman, which generates a majority of its revenue by raking in lucrative fees from advising on the world's biggest deals, reported a surge in advisory fees, as large companies and financial sponsors embarked on a slew of transformative deals this year.

Total revenue surged 26% to $13.61 billion.

Investment banking revenue nearly doubled to $3.55 billion.

Global M&A volumes have shattered all-time records. The pace of dealmaking has surpassed all expectations, with advisors struggling to cope with transaction volumes never seen before.

Deals worth over $1.5 trillion were signed by the world's biggest investment banks in the September quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Goldman comfortably latched on to its top ranking on the league tables for worldwide M&A advisory, according to Refinitiv.

The league tables rank financial services firms on the amount of M&A fees they generate.