E*TRADE Financial (ETFC)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 19, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Susan Hickey - Media Relations

Steven Freiberg - Interim Chairman, Chief Executive officer and Member of Finance & Risk Oversight Committee

Michael John Curcio - Executive Vice President and President of E*TRADE Securities

Matthew J. Audette - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Controller


Patrick J. O'Shaughnessy - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Brian Bedell - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Michael Carrier - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Joel Jeffrey - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division

Christopher J. Allen - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Daniel F. Harris - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Howard Chen - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Richard H. Repetto - Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., Research Division

Christopher Harris - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division



Welcome to the E*TRADE Financial Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to Susan Hickey from E*TRADE Financial. Please go ahead.

Susan Hickey

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us for E*TRADE Financial's Third Quarter 2011 Conference Call. Joining today are Stephen Freiberg, E*TRADE Chief Executive Officer; Matt Audette, our Chief Financial Officer; and other members of E*TRADE's management team.

Before turning the call over to Steve, I'd like to remind everyone that during this conference call, the company will be sharing with you certain projections or other forward looking statements regarding future events or its future performance. E*TRADE Financial cautions you that certain factors including risks and uncertainties referred to in the 10-Ks, 10-Qs and other documents E*TRADE files with the Securities and Exchange Commission could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated by its projections or forward looking statements.

This call will present information as of October 19, 2011. Please note that E*TRADE Financial disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statements made in the presentation. During this call, E*TRADE Financial may also discuss some non-GAAP financial measures in talking about its performance, these measures will be reconciled to GAAP either during the course of this call or on the company's press release, which can be found on its website at investor.etrade.com.

This call is being recorded and a replay of this call will be available via phone and webcast beginning this evening at approximately 7 p.m. The call is being webcast live at investor.etrade.com. No other recordings or copies of this call are authorized or maybe relied upon. And with that, I will turn the call over to Steve Freiberg.

Steven Freiberg

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining today's call. I will begin by covering highlights from the third quarter, and then Matt will take you through the results. I will follow with a few additional comments, after which we'll open up the call for questions.

We are pleased with our third quarter performance as we executed well during a period of extreme market volatility driven by continued uncertainty in the global economy. We reported net income of $71 million or $0.24 per share on revenue of $507 million. Our results this quarter included a tax benefit as well as 2 specific expenses that I will summarize upfront and Matt will provide additional details later in the call.

First, we recorded an income tax benefit of approximately $62 million or $0.21 per share related to the taxable liquidation of the European subsidiary in conjunction with our international restructuring. On the expense side, we reserved $55 million or $0.13 per share related to our intention to initiate and offer to purchase auction rate securities held by customers of E*TRADE Securities.

While we played a limited role in the market for these securities, we believe an offer to purchase is the appropriate thing to do for our customers and in the best interest of our stakeholders. And we will be pleased to put this matter behind us. Also on the expense side, our quarterly FDIC expenses increased $12 million from the prior quarter, including $6 million related to second quarter premiums. The FDIC made changes to its assessment methodology effective in the second quarter and with a calculation of our new FDIC assessment was finalized in the third quarter, it resulted in a $6 million increase in the second quarter estimate.

So, while we had a tax benefit and 2 expenses that were unique to the period, it was a solid quarter as we continue to execute on our strategic plan and focus on creating franchise value. The retail investor was highly engaged during this quarter and we are proud that our team and our technology supported our customers through very volatile markets, and we successfully managed periods that included record trade, call, online chat, and log in volumes.

In fact, we are recognized by SmartMoney on 2 occasions for having the fastest customer service response times and by website monitoring for Gomez.com for being among the brokers with the fastest online trades on days of extreme volatility. On August 8 specifically, and on the heels of the U.S. debt downgrade, we processed 359,000 trades, a company record. Investors also increased their engagement via mobile devices and we saw a record mobile transactions more than 16,000 on that same day.

During this busy quarter, we continue to execute on our strategic plan by adding sales resources, expanding our product offering, emphasizing our corporate services solutions, and managing our legacy loan portfolio. We are well on our way to increasing significantly our team of financial consultants, and have grown this group by 33% year-to-date. this team is delivering quality accounts as evidenced by year-to-date asset growth of $8 billion and we are very pleased with our momentum in this area.

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