* Bear Stearns Cos. reported that its...

From Times Wire Services

* Bear Stearns Cos. reported that its profit nearly tripled in the recent quarter, strengthened by bull markets in stocks and bonds and a flurry of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

The Wall Street brokerage firm said it earned $89.5 million in its fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, compared to $32.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

The recent profit, which came to 65 cents per share, was at the high end of expectations, according to an analyst survey by Zachs Investment Research.