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Paine Webber Beats 1Q Expectations

April 18, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Paine Webber Group Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. brokerage firm, reported a 9.8 percent increase in profit for the first quarter, beating Wall Street estimates.

Earnings were $176.3 million, or $1.16 a share, for the January-March period compared with $160.6 million, or $1.01 a share in the same period a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had predicted earnings of $1.09 a share.

Shares of Paine Webber rose $2.68 3/4 to $41.50 in trading at 4:30 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange.

First quarter revenues after interest expenses were $1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 1999.

Paine Webber chairman and chief executive Donald Marron said the company’s record earnings reflected ``accelerating momentum across the firm’s businesses, particularly those focused on the affluent investor.″

Analysts said it’s too early to say how Paine Webber’s second-quarter earnings will be affected by the recent market downturn.

The firm reported a 23 percent increase in total client assets in the first quarter over 1999 to $452 billion and said new client assets rose 46 percent to $13.8 billion.

In addition, the number of customers using the company’s Edge online brokerage service more than doubled in 2000 to 208,300 households from 86,000 at the end of the first quarter of 1999. Assets invested with the service also more than doubled to $166 billion in 2000 from $74 billion in 1999.

Like many old line Wall Street brokerage firms, Paine Webber recently began offering clients online trading services at lower rates than their traditional full service brokerage fees.

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