E*Trade Plans $1 Billion Share Buyback as Earnings Top Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- E*Trade Financial Corp.’s earnings exceeded analysts’ estimates and the firm announced a $1 billion share buyback.

E*Trade reported earnings of $1 a share, according to a statement Thursday. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 82 cents. The company also plans a quarterly cash dividend of 14 cents a share.

“As we look to the future, we intend to fully leverage our many accomplishments to maintain our growth trajectory and to continue to deliver meaningful long-term value for our shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Karl Roessner said in the statement.

E*Trade has been the focus of deal speculation as price wars have escalated among discount brokers. JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced in August it would roll out a mobile brokerage platform with free research and some free trades. Fidelity also introduced some zero-fee index mutual funds for retail investors.

In September, E*Trade promoted its chief financial officer to chief operating officer, which led some to speculate the company would remain independent after all, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst David Ritter.

E*Trade shares have declined 1.1 percent this year through Thursday compared with a 3.5 percent drop for the S&P Financials Index.

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