TD Ameritrade (AMTD) reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday. The company earned $147 million in the final quarter of 2012, versus a profit of $152 million a year ago. The earnings per share figure matched last year’s number of 27 cents per share since they are slightly fewer shares on the market than there were last year. Revenue for the quarter came in at $651 million, just barely missing last year’s revenue of $653 million.Even though earnings were down ever so slightly from a year ago, the results did manage to beat analysts expectations. Analysts expected the company to report only 24 cents per share, so Ameritrade delivered a 3 cent beat. On the revenue number analysts were expecting just $636 million, which TD Ameritrade was able to beat by a solid $15 million.

CEO and Chairman Fred Tomczyk said, “In the face of continued investor uncertainty we maintained our strong organic growth momentum and had record sales of guidance and advice solutions, all while keeping our expenses in check.” TD Ameritrade reeled in a record $15.6 billion in new client assets during the quarter. That figure was up 52.9 percent from a year ago.

What kept TD Ameritrade from accomplishing even bigger things? Trading volume dipped 11.3 percent from last year, and transaction based revenue fell 5.9 percent to $257 million. The company was able to minimize the damage by doing a great job controlling costs. In fact, analysts all over Wall Street were singing TD Ameritrade’s praises for cutting costs in the quarter.

Mr. Tomczyk said that January DARTs are sitting at 370,000 per day so far. If that number holds up, that would be the highest number since last May. Tomczyk cautioned, “While trading is improving in January, it remains sluggish compared to what we would normally expect this time of the year.”

For more info on TD Ameritrade’s earnings click here for the full press release.

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