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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lehman Bros. Holdings, one of Wall Street's last independent investment banks, reported a 53% rise in profit, driven by trading gains and merger fees.
The gains in profit came against strong year-ago results, when earnings were up100%. Total revenue grew 54% in the quarter to $7.4 billion.
Lehman, rumored to be a takeover target as the financial services sector consolidates, pulled in more than $1 billion from trading sto
cks and bonds, more than double what it made last year. The 150-year-old firm also benefited from its expansion overseas into businesses like advising on mergers.
Lehman, whose board approved a 2-for-1 …