U.S. News

Schwab Net Up 16% as Client Assets Increase


Discount brokerage Charles Schwabposted a 16% increase in second-quarter profit as new policies to attract clients paid off.

Net income rose to $292 million, or 23 cents a share, from $251 million, or 19 cents a share, a year earlier. The results met the average Wall Street forecast compiled by Reuters Estimates.

Net revenue increased to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion, slightly exceeding analysts' estimates.

Total client assets reached $1.38 trillion at the end of June.

Chief Executive Charles Schwab said in a statement that lowering account opening minimums, eliminating minimum balance charges and other actions had helped build stronger client relationships.

Clients opened 206,000 new brokerage accounts during the quarter, up 20% from a year earlier, the San Francisco-based company said.

Schwab now has 6.9 million client brokerage accounts as well as 177,000 banking accounts and 1 million retirement plan participants.

In recent years, Schwab has expanded its array of financial services offerings to include banking, money management and advisory services to institutional and individual clients.

Citigroup analyst Prashant Bhatia said in a note to clients on Monday that over the past five years, Schwab has taken a 3.2% market share from other retail brokerages and a 1% market share from firms offering all financial services.

Bhatia raised Schwab's price target from $22 to $27, saying the company is positioned to be the largest brokerage in three years, surpassing Merrill Lynch , which is the current leader in U.S. client assets.

Schwab's earnings per share will grow at 20% per year, driven by accelerating organic growth, market share gains and higher profit margins than competitors, Bhatia wrote.

Earlier this month, Schwab announced a $3.5 billion capital restructuring program that included a special dividend, a share buyback plan and a debt offering.