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Schwab, TD Ameritrade Post Strong Q4 Earnings as New Accounts, Assets Soar

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Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade benefited from the influx of investors into the rising stock market in the final months of 2016.

Schwab’s fourth-quarter profits were $522 million, or $0.36 per share, up 25% from $416 million, or $0.28 per share, a year earlier — meeting analysts’ estimates. Sales grew 17% to $1.97 billion but missed estimates.

In terms of asset flows in Q4’16, Advisor Services saw its flows grow 9% year over year and 47% from last quarter to $23.2 billion; this segment now has total assets of $1.3 trillion. Investor Services had new flows of $13.7 billion in Q4’16 and ended the year at $1.5 trillion.

“New and existing clients brought $125.5 billion in core net new assets to Schwab during 2016, marking a 5% annual organic growth rate and the fifth consecutive year over $100 billion. Net new assets in our Retail and Advisor Services businesses rose by 10% and 21%” respectively for the full year vs. 2015, explained CEO Walt Bettinger in a statement.

The number of new retail brokerage accounts at Schwab increased 21% to 182,000, and the number of financial planning conversations rose 10% to 32,000 clients. Total client assets at year-end were up 11% to $2.78 trillion.

The total level of assets in Advice Solutions, including managed portfolios, was $212.3 billion — up from $192.6 billion a year ago. Assets in Intelligent Portfolios more than doubled to $11.1 billion from $4.9 billion in Q4’15. Fee-based portfolios ended the period at $184 billion vs. $172 billion last year.

Assets in commission-free ETF OneSource funds jumped 32% from last year and 5% from Q3’16 to $21.2 billion, while assets in proprietary Schwab ETFs soared 51% from a year ago and 11% from the prior quarter to $62 billion.  

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade, which is in the process of acquiring Scottrade Financial Services for $4 billion, reported earnings of $216 million, or $0.41 per share, in the latest period, up 2% from $212 million, or $0.39 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue improved 6% to $859 million from $812 million. Earnings results met analysts’ estimates but did not top the expected $859.2 million for sales.

TD Ameritrade says its net new client assets in the final three months of 2016 were about $19 billion. It ended the period with total client assets of $797 billion, up 15% from the year before and 3% from the prior quarter.

“Strong organic growth from net new client assets, rate-sensitive assets and new accounts, coupled with emerging tailwinds from the improving interest rate environment, provides a solid base for future earnings growth,” said CFO Steve Boyle in a statement.