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E-Trade 1st-quarter profit slumps 44 percent

Steve Rothwell, Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Online broker E-Trade Financial Corp. said that its first-quarter profit fell 44 percent as revenue declined and a tax benefit wasn't repeated.

E-Trade said net income dropped to $35 million, or 12 cents per share, in the first three months of the year, down from $63 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. The earnings were in line with analyst's estimates, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 14 percent to $420 million from $489 million from the same period a year ago. E-Trade, which is based in New York, said it added 30,000 net new accounts, compared with 10,000 in the last three months of 2012, and 46,000 in the same period a year ago.

Paul Idzik, who was appointed CEO in January, said that his focus would be to expand the company's core business.

"I see a meaningful opportunity for E-Trade — both in terms of driving a superior customer experience, and in creating value for shareholders," Idzik said in a company statement.

The average commission per trade rose to $11.30, compared with $11.04 in the first quarter a year ago.

E-Trade shares rose 4.6 percent to $9.98 in after-hours trading, following the release of the report. The company's stock was up 6.6 percent for the year at $9.54 at the close of trading Thursday.