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Markets | Wall Street Roundup

Schwab posts 12% rise in earnings

April 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

Charles Schwab Corp. posted its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth as an influx of customer deposits during the first three months of the year helped the discount broker shake off turbulent market conditions.

The San Francisco-based company said Tuesday that it earned $273 million, or 22 cents a share, during the first quarter. That was up 12% from net income of $243 million, or 19 cents a share, at the same time last year.

The earnings matched the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

The company's revenue climbed 9% to $1.15 billion.

Schwab's shares fell 46 cents Tuesday to $19.05. The company's stock price has nearly doubled since April 2005 -- the last time Schwab reported a decrease in quarterly profit.

The brokerage has been faring so well in the last two years that it is becoming more difficult for it to maintain its earnings momentum. The latest quarter represented the first time that Schwab's profit hadn't increased by at least 20% since the upturn started.

However, Schwab's customers, including new ones, added $33.5 billion to their accounts during the quarter, the most money to flow into the brokerage in a three-month stretch since the third quarter of 2000 -- a period that coincided with the tail end of the dot-com frenzy.

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