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Schwab profit up 12 percent, boosted by asset management

A man walks past a Charles Schwab Investment branch in Washington January 19, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young
A man walks past a Charles Schwab Investment branch in Washington January 19, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young

(Reuters) - Charles Schwab Corp , one of the largest U.S. brokerages, said third-quarter profit rose 12 percent, helped by higher revenue from asset management and administration.

Net earnings were $247 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $220 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier, Schwab reported on Monday

The results included a nonrecurring tax benefit of about $20 million. Without that benefit, earnings were about 17 cents a share, in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/E/B/S.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $1.2 billion.

Asset management and administration fee revenue increased 12 percent to $524 million, boosted by higher net money market fund yields and growth in other mutual fund balances and advice programs.

That helped offset a decline in trading and net interest revenues. Trading revenue fell 18 percent from a year earlier to $204 million and was down 7 percent from the second quarter as uncertainty over Europe's debt problems, the state of the U.S. economy and the upcoming U.S. election kept many retail investors on the sidelines. Net interest revenue fell 1 percent to $439 million.

"Our clients remain resilient yet cautious in this challenging economic environment," Schwab Chief Executive Walt Bettinger said in a statement.

"They continue to be net purchasers of securities; their cash holdings at Schwab remain at pre-crisis levels; and while their trading activity this summer was muted, it's been consistent with our experience in prior presidential election years."

Bettinger said Schwab was focused on improving its client services.

To that end, it said on Monday it would acquire dividend income-focused asset management firm Thomas Partners Inc the brokerage anticipates growing demand for income-oriented investment strategies. The deal includes an upfront payment of $85 million.

(Reporting By John McCrank; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)

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