Bank and brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations, thanks to higher interest margins and gains in trading activity.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $935 million, or 65 cents a share, up from $597 million, or 41 cents, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Revenue rose to $2.67 billion from $2.24 billion in the year-earlier quarter.
Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research had expected per-share earnings of 64 cents on revenue of $2.63 billion.
Clients opened 380,000 brokerage accounts in the fourth quarter, down slightly from a year ago, while daily average trades surged 38% to 867,000. Even so, average revenue per trade fell 3% to $7.13, the company said.
Total interest-earning assets rose to $268.3 billion at the end of 2018 from $223.9 billion at the end of 2017.
"These impressive flows were driven, in part, by our ability to win in a competitive marketplace as we continued attracting more than two dollars of inflow for every dollar out in 2018," said CEO Walt Bettinger. "Our strong net new assets largely offset lower market valuations and we ended the year at $3.25 trillion in total client assets."
Shares of Charles Schwab rose 5.5% by the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, rising $2.45 to $46.70. The stock ended Tuesday down 3 cents at $44.25.