Schwab results for the first quarter of 2021

Pedestrians walk past a Charles Schwab bank branch in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Charles Schwab, a giant for retail investors, gained more clients in the first three months of 2021 than in all of 2020.

Schwab recorded a record 3.2 million new customers in the first quarter of 2021. Compared to about 2.4 million new accounts in all of 2020, last year 14.5 million new broker accounts were excluded from the TD Ameritrade merger and 1.1 million accounts from the 2013 sale of USAA’s broker portfolio to Schwab in May .

Schwab currently operates nearly 32 million brokerage accounts and has approximately $ 7.07 trillion in client assets. Schwab’s shares fell 2.9% on Thursday.

Daily trades at brokerage rose to an average of 8.4 million, with a daily high of 12.3 million. This is four times the trading level in 2019 when Schwab dropped commissions on these transactions.

“The increased interest in technology and other growth-oriented stocks, as well as increased market awareness of certain names via social media, have significantly boosted trading activity,” said CEO Walt Bettinger in a company release.

In January, GameStop’s big brokers were embroiled in an epic short squeeze, fueled in part by Reddit-fueled retail investors. The trading mania brought millions of new private investors onto the market on platforms such as Schwab, Robinhood and Interactive Brokers. Schwab said the number of mobile and web logins exceeded 1.1 billion in the first quarter.

“We have seen several days in which we have completed at least 10 million trades and simultaneously completed more than 15 million logins via mobile devices and the Internet,” said Bettinger.

Schwab and the other big brokers had a banner year in 2020 when a record number of investors hit the market during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schwab exceeded expectations for the income statement of its most recent quarterly results. The company earned an adjusted 84 cents per share, exceeding a refinitive forecast of 82 cents per share. Schwab’s sales were $ 4.72 billion, beating an estimate of $ 4.6 billion. Trading revenue rose 46% from the previous quarter to $ 1.2 billion.

Charles Schwab’s stock is up nearly 30% in 2021.

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