It has been about a month since the last earnings report for TD Ameritrade (AMTD - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 17.2% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is TD Ameritrade due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
TD Ameritrade Q3 Earnings Top on Strong Trading Activity
TD Ameritrade delivered a positive earnings surprise of 7.2% in third-quarter fiscal 2019 (ending Jun 30). Adjusted earnings of $1.04 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents. The figure also jumped 16.9% from the prior-year quarter’s reported tally.
The company’s results displayed stellar revenues and escalating expenses in the fiscal third quarter. Rise in net interest margin (NIM) was also recorded. Notably, the company witnessed an increase in average client trades per day, indicating investors’ willingness to invest, leading to higher trading activity.
Including certain non-recurring items, net income for the quarter came in at $555 million or $1.00 per share compared with $451 million or 79 cents reported in the prior-year quarter.
Rise in Revenues Partly Offset by Higher Expenses
Net revenues for the reported quarter came in at $1.49 billion, up 8% year over year. This upside can chiefly be attributed to higher asset-based revenues, partly muted by lower transaction-based revenues. The reported figure also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46 billion.
Total asset-based revenues for the June-end quarter amounted to $955 million, up 11.2% year over year, driven by higher bank deposit account fees, investment product fees and net interest revenues.
However, commissions and transaction fees slipped 2.7% from the prior-year quarter to $477 million. The quarter's NIM came in at 2.23%, expanding 29 basis points year over year.
Total operating expenses flared up 2.7% year over year to $771 million. This upswing mainly resulted from rise in almost all components of expenses, partly mitigated by lower employee compensation and benefits along with communication expenses.
Trading Activity Mixed
Average client trades per day for the fiscal third quarter increased 5.2% year over year to 824,600.
As of Jun 30, 2019, net new client assets totaled $19.5 billion, down 1.5% year over year. Total client assets came in at $1.31 trillion, up 6.5% year over year.
Average spread-based balance was $142.9 billion, down 2.5% year over year, and average fee-based investment balance was up 13.2%, to $290.6 billion.
Balance Sheet Position
As of Jun 30, 2019, TD Ameritrade’s cash and cash equivalents were $2.95 billion, up from $2.69 billion reported as of Sep 30, 2018. Shareholders’ equity was $8.49 billion compared with $8 billion as of Sep 30, 2018.
During the fiscal third quarter, TD Ameritrade repurchased 4.7 million shares for a total cost of $242 million.
Fiscal 2019 Outlook
The company expects to deliver revenues of greater than or equal to $5.75 billion, up around 6% year over year. However, given high levels of investor engagement and rate expectations, revenues are expected to be considerably higher in mid-to high single digits.
For expenses, positive operating leverage is expected to be at least 200 basis points, even with modest revenue growth. Notably, operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $2.9-$3 billion. Advertising expenses are expected to be within the $300-$320 million range.
Tax rate is expected to be around 25%.
Dividend payments of 30-40% of non-GAAP net income are anticipated, though the percentage might fall slightly on revenue tailwinds. Share repurchases are expected to be up to 40% of non-GAAP net income in 2019.
Net new assets are expected to be within the 7-10% range. Notably, management expects total net new assets to exceed $90 billion this year from $60 billion in 2016. Commission rate excluding order routing are expected to be down 2-3% year over year.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision.
At this time, TD Ameritrade has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, TD Ameritrade has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.