Schwab earnings rise 16%

From Times Wire Services

Charles Schwab Corp. said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit increased 16% as its “Talk to Chuck” ads and rising stock prices helped drive the discount brokerage’s fastest growth in customer accounts in five years.

Net income climbed to $292 million, or 23 cents a share, from $251 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10% to $1.21 billion.

Chief Executive Charles Schwab turned wealth management into the San Francisco-based company’s biggest growth engine after a price war with TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. and E-Trade Financial Corp. made trade processing less profitable. Citigroup Inc. analyst Prashant Bhatia predicts Schwab will top Merrill Lynch & Co. as the biggest U.S. brokerage by client assets within three years.

The second-quarter results were in line with analysts’ estimates. Schwab shares closed Tuesday at $22.25, unchanged from Monday.