E*TRADE (ETFC) saw profits drop from the same period a year ago, but their quarterly earnings still came in easily above analysts expectations. Excluding a one-time debt retirement charge, E*TRADE earned $85 million per share in the first quarter. That is down 12 percent from the $97 million profit in the first quarter of 2014. The online broker earned 29 cents per share compared to analysts estimates of 24 cents per share in the first quarter. Net revenue came in at $456 million.The one-time charge was part of E*TRADE’s continued lowering of their debt burden. On the conference call, E*TRADE CEO Paul Idzik stated that the goal for E*TRADE is to reduce corporate debt to a level of $1 billion.
There were some clear positives in this quarterly report. Net interest spread was 2.62 percent, up from 2.47 percent a year ago. Total customer assets stood at a level of $299.4 billion, which was up 11 percent from the first quarter last year. Net new brokerage assets increased 5.7 percent to $3.5 billion. Net new brokerage accounts were 39,000 in the quarter. The annualized attrition rate sat at 8.8 percent.
Total Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) decreased 14 percent year over year to 169,951. That level was a one percent increase from DARTs in the fourth quarter. Non-interest income decreased by 12 percent to $185 million. Total operating expenses were 3.4 percent higher than a year ago at $300 million.
Shares of ETFC edged down slightly on the news of this report, but the stock sits just one dollar from a 52 week high.
Click here for the full first quarter earnings press release from E*TRADE.