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Interactive Reports Mixed Metrics

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On Wednesday, Interactive Brokers Group Inc. (IBKR - Free Report) reported mixed monthly performance data for its business segment, Electronic Brokerage, for the month of May. The segment clears and settles trades globally for both individual and institutional clients.

Total customer accounts for the month of May were 173,300, up about 2% from 170,700 in April 2011 and 20% from 144,400 in May 2010. However, the total customer Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) stood at 420,000, up 4% from the prior month but down 17% from the prior-year month.

On an annualized basis, Interactive reported Cleared Average DART per customer account of 574,000, up from 551,000 in the previous month but down from 817,000 in the comparable prior-year month.

Interactive’s total options contracts stood at 20,556 for May, reflecting a decline of 5% from 21,605 in April 2011and a fall of 21% from 25,908 in May 2010. However, the company’s futures contracts rose 19% from the prior month, but declined 23% from the year-ago month to 6,896 in May.

Interactive also provided period-end statistics for customer equity, customer credit balances, and customer margin loan balances. For the period ended May 2011, customer equity stood at $26.0 billion, down 0.4% from April 2011 end, but was up 59% from May 2010 end.

Likewise, customer credit balances at May end stood at $17.2 billion, down from $18.4 billion at April 2011 end but up from $11.3 billion at May 2010 end.

Furthermore, Interactive’s Electronic Brokerage segment reported customer margin loan balances of $9.5 billion for May, reflecting a 10% decrease from $10.5 billion recorded at April 2011 end but a 126% hike from $4.2 billion registered at May 2010 end.

Though Interactive’s fundamentals remain strong with a liquid balance sheet, sturdy capital base and high barriers to entry, we believe that the company’s dependence on IBG LLC, along with an increased market risk due to significant international exposure, remains a cause of concern in the near-to-medium term.

Interactive Brokers currently retains a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term ‘Strong Buy’ rating. However, one of its peers Jefferies Group Inc. retains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term ‘Sell’ rating.

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