Earnings Cheat Sheet: The Pain Continues For Charles Schwab (SCHW)

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) holds over $1.4 trillion in client assets across 7.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement accounts and 722,000 bank accounts.

SCHW sports a 1.65% dividend and a $17.3 billion market cap.  Of the 63 analysts who maintain coverage of SCHW, 40 have the stock rated as a Hold.

Earnings: SCHW reported Q3 earnings of $124 million ($0.10/share), down 38% year-over-year vs. 3Q09 earnings of $200 million ($0.17/share).

Revenue: Up 5.1% year-over-year to $1.06 billion.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SCHW beat the Street on EPS, as consensus estimates sought $0.09/share, and met expectations in terms of revenue.

Notable Stats: Q3 marked the first Q since 2Q08 that SCHW registered year-over-year revenue gains.  168,000 new accounts were opened during the Q, a 7.2% drop vs. 3Q09.  Clients’ avg. daily revenue declined 15% year-over-year while average revenue per trade fell 12%.

Did You Hear That? CFO Joe Martinetto noted that SCHW’s trading revenue declined 24% year-over-year, “as a result of our improved pricing and the environment’s effect on client activity.”

Technicals: SCHW spent an entire year in a tight trading range, bouncing between $16-$20.  As such, it was unassailably negative when shares broke out of that range to the downside this past May.  Shares moved towards $14 almost immediately before moving down even more.

Shares are likely to find support at $12.64 and meet resistance at $15.72.

Comment: SCHW and its peers have not fared well as of late.  Low interest rates have forced the entire space to waive money market mutual fund fees, though total fee waivers do seem to be moderating.  SCHW waived $93 million in fees this past Q compared to $113 million and $125 million in Q2 and Q1, respectively.

SCHW has now beaten EPS estimates in two consecutive Q’s after missing three in a row, but until we see some legitimate positive price action, it will be hard for us to get behind shares.

Disclosure: No holdings in SCHW.