Charles Schwab (SCHW) reported slightly higher fourth quarter earnings last week. The online broker earned $189 million, or 15 cents per share, in the three months that ended December 31. That is up from $163 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose from $1.11 billion last year in the fourth quarter to $1.22 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of 15 cents per share on $1.21 billion in revenue, so the results came in almost exactly in line with estimates.
How did Schwab fare when it came to their final fiscal 2012 earnings? Schwab earnings rose from $864 million in 2011 to $883 million this year. Revenue rose to $4.88 billion from 4.69 billion a year ago. Earnings per share actually dropped to 69 cents per share from 70 cents per share last year, because Schwab had more shares outstanding in 2012.
Walt Bettinger, President and CEO of Schwab, said that the company’s “through clients eyes” strategy has helped fuel growth in the past year. He pointed to December core net new assets totaling $22.6 billion, which was 28% higher than the previous record set in March 2008. Bettinger said, “By continuing to challenge the status quo in investing services we believe that both our clients and the company win.”
The level of clients daily trading was 450,000 in the fourth quarter. This is down 2% from a year ago, but up 12% from the third quarter. The average revenue per trade rose 2% year over year. Total accounts reached $6.1 million at Schwab as of December 31.
Shares of Charles Schwab’s stock dropped slightly on this earnings news, but the stock rebounded to within 10 cents of a 52 week high by the close of the day on January 18.
For more on Schwab’s fourth quarter earnings release click here.