E-Trade's Encouraging Monthly Statistics

May.14.09 | About: E*TRADE Financial (ETFC)

Today, E*Trade (ETFC) released its monthly customer statistics, and the statistics were pleasantly surprising.

The full run-down of statistics can be found here, but I'll summarize some important stuff below:

Net new accounts: 29,393
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End of period total accounts: 4,518,638

Total customer assets: $ 121,779,000,000
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"Total Daily Average Revenue Trades (“DARTs”) increased 7.2 percent sequentially and 34.5 percent from the prior year to 230,345." Plus, "Asset flows continued to be positive, as the Company realized $300 million in net new customer assets during April, marking the seventh consecutive month of positive inflows." (quoted from linked article).

ETFC's brokerage business is obviously healthy, which is an encouraging sign considering the overall company's murkier picture. ETFC recently announced that it would sell $150 million in common stock, boosting capital reserves to meet regulatory requests. The shares would be sold "from time to time at market prices" by JP Morgan.

As I wrote in March, ETFC shareholders will have to wait and see if the thriving brokerage business can endure and outlast losses from the asset-holding component of the business. The capital raise and continued healthy customer statistics are promising, though the battle is likely far from over.

I have accumulated some more shares of ETFC over the past few weeks after shares fell nearly $1 from the recent highs near $2.50. I plan on continuing to occasionally buy shares on weakness as long as ETFC's business doesn't change materially.

Disclosure: Long ETFC