E*Trade Beats, Raises Guidance

The shares ease after hours.
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Online broker

E*Trade Financial

(ET) - Get Report

said Wednesday that first-quarter profits rose 54% from a year ago, reflecting higher commissions from stock trades and continued growth in its online banking division.

E*Trade also raised earnings guidance for the full year.

In the quarter, E*Trade earned $142.7 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $92 million, or 24 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Excluding acquisition-related costs, the company earned 36 cents a share on an operating basis.

Total net revenue at the online firm rose 43% to $598 million in the quarter.

Analysts, as surveyed by Thomson Financial, were looking for earnings of 33 cents a share on revenue of $555.1 million. The charges were excluded from the analyst estimates.

In the quarter, commission revenue rose 61% to $175.8 million, an indication that E*Trade's customers are trading stocks more often.

Net interest income from E*Trade's online bank rose 79% to $314.6 million. Net interest income is the revenue a bank generates from its lending and deposit operation.

The firm also raised its 2006 earnings guidance. It now expects to earn between $1.35 and $1.50 a share. The previous range had E*Trade earning between $1.30 and $1.45 a share.

In afterhours trading, shares of E*Trade were trading 16 cents lower to $26.70. In regular trading Wednesday, the stock rose 94 cents, or 3.6%, to $26.86.