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Schwab's February Metrics Solid on Coronavirus Volatility

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Charles Schwab’s (SCHW - Free Report) monthly activity report for February 2020 reflects impressive performance amid coronavirus-related heightened volatility. Net new assets of $24.4 billion increased 17% from the previous month and 33% year over year.

Total client assets came in at $4.1 trillion, down 5% from January 2020 but up 9% from February 2019. Client assets receiving ongoing advisory services were $2.02 trillion, down 4% from the prior month but up 9% year over year.

Schwab’s average interest earning assets were $279 billion at the end of February, in line with the January 2020 level but up 3% from February 2019. The company opened 159,000 new brokerage accounts in the reported month, down 5% sequentially but up38% year on year.

Schwab’s active brokerage accounts totaled 12.5 million at the end of February, up 1% sequentially and 7% from the year-ago month. Further, clients’ banking accounts were 1.4 million, rising 1% from January 2020 and 7% from February 2019. The number of retirement-plan participants was on par with the prior-month level but grew 2% year on year to 1.7 million.

Driven by coronavirus-induced volatility, Schwab posted impressive growth in core net new assets in the first two months of 2020. In addition, continued rise in volatility in March will likely provide support to the company’s top-line growth in the first quarter amid the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance.

Shares of the company have lost 26.2% over the past year compared with 19.3% decline recorded by the industry.

Currently, Schwab carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Investment Brokers

E*TRADE Financial (ETFC - Free Report) reported a rise in Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) in February. According to its monthly-market activity, the company’s DARTs came in at 587,122, which jumped 27% from the previous month and 105% year over year. Notably, derivatives comprised 32% of DARTs in February.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR - Free Report) released the Electronic Brokerage segment’s performance metrics for February 2020. The segment reported an increase in DARTs. Total client DARTs were 1,346,000, rising 32% from January 2020 and 63% from February 2019.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc.’s (LPLA - Free Report) total brokerage and advisory assets of $736.6 billion at the end of February 2020 declined 4% from the prior month but increased 9% year over year. Of the total assets, brokerage amounted to $380.9 billion, while advisory totaled $355.7 billion.

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