E*TRADE (ETFC) reported first quarter earnings per share of 33 cents per share, which was nearly triple last year’s 12 cents per share number. Revenue came in at $475 million compared to $420 million last year. Net income rose 175% to $97 million. How good were these first quarter numbers? Analysts were expecting the online broker to earn just 23 cents per share on $455 million in revenue, so this was a significant earnings beat.

There were of positives in this earnings report. Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) rose to 198,000 in this quarter. That is 33% higher than the first quarter last year. It is also 24% higher than the DARTs E*TRADE reported for the fourth quarter of 2013. Interest income rose by $25 million to $266 million. Commissions were up 28% to $128 million. Fees and service charges jumped almost 50% to $47 million.

E*TRADE took another huge step to reducing risk by reducing provision for loan losses from $43 million to $4 million. The online broker now has 3.1 million brokerage accounts after adding 72,000 accounts in the first quarter. Customer assets jumped 23% to $269 billion.

E*TRADE CEO Paul Idzik said, “We’ve had a great start to the year across all dimensions of our business, as reflected in our Q1 results.” CFO Matthew Audette spoke on the earnings call about how E*TRADE is reducing balance sheet risk and unlocking embedded value for shareholders.

Not surprisingly, E*TRADE’s stock bounced in a big way after this earnings report.

For the full first quarter earnings press release click here.

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