TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s (AMTD) fiscal first-quarter earnings edged up 4.8% as a tight control on expenses helped the online brokerage offset a surprise decline in revenue.
The usual holiday slowdown in trading activity was more pronounced over the past few months as a deepening European sovereign debt pushed some retail investors to the sidelines. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, TD Ameritrade reported average daily client trades totaled 367,479, down 1.2% from a year earlier and 12% from the previous quarter.
Ameritrade, which has in recent quarters made strides in gathering new assets, also reported Tuesday it added $10.2 billion in net new assets for its fiscal first quarter, compared with $9.7 billion a year earlier and $12.4 billion in the previous quarter.
"We continue to execute well against our growth strategy in the face of a difficult market environment," said Chief Executive Fred Tomczyk.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported a profit of $152 million, or 27 cents a share, up from $145 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.
Net revenue slipped 0.4% to $653.4 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 26 cents a share on revenue of $671 million.
Operating expenses edged up 0.7% from a year earlier to $424.9 million. The brokerage has previously said it would tightly manage expenses in response to market and interest-rate challenges.
Shares closed Friday at $16.30 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 4.2% so far this year.
-By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207; email@example.com