Schwab's earnings beat expectations as client assets jump

Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:39am EDT

(Adds detail on client assets, comparison with estimates)

July 16 (Reuters) - Charles Schwab Corp 's second-quarter revenue and profit grew at double-digit rates, slightly exceeding Wall Street expectations.

Once known as a pioneering discount broker for self-directed investors, the San Francisco-based company now emphasizes its full-service and advisory capabilities for wealthy investors offered through investment advisers.

The shift helped it amass $2.4 trillion of client assets as of June 30, the highest in its history and up 17 percent from a year ago.

"Many of our clients are at a stage where they have accumulated significant asset levels, they are increasingly looking for professional help," Chief Executive Walt Bettinger said in a statement.

Schwab's second-quarter net income of $324 million was up 27 percent from a year ago, or 28 percent on a per-share basis to 23 cents. Its revenue of $1.48 billion climbed 11 percent.

Analysts had forecast earnings per share of 22 cents and revenue of $1.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

New accounts opened during the second quarter fell 6 percent from the first quarter to 242,000, but total active brokerage accounts rose 3 percent to 9.3 million.

Schwab's return on equity rose to 12 percent from 10 percent a year ago, and its pretax profit margin - a measure of how its expense growth contrasts with revenue margin - hit 35.3 percent from 30.8 percent a year ago. (Reporting by Jed Horowitz in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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