Interactive Brokers’ DARTs Hit Five-Month Peak in May

Rising volatility has improved the trading volumes, with May data showing the second monthly rise throughout 2019.

Electronic brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) said its trading volumes rose in May from a month earlier, an indication that investor confidence in the financial market is rebounding after having been fairly mixed in the first quarter.

Rising volatility has improved the trading volumes, with May data showing the second monthly rise throughout 2019. But it is not clear whether that will be enough to accelerate the revenue growth after the company reported a flat increase in the first quarter, or how it could affect margins for the multi-asset broker and market-maker.

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During May 2019, the number of DARTs was reported at 894,000, the highest figure in 2019 and a rise of 15 percent month-over-month from 778,000 in April 2019. Over a year-on-year basis, Interactive Brokers saw a similar upbeat performance in its DARTs with May’s figure jumping with the same percent relative to 780,000 reported in May 2018.

In terms of equity balance in customers’ accounts during May 2019, the figure totaled $144.2 billion, down by five percent on a monthly basis from $151.2 billion the previous month. However, Interactive Brokers bested its May 2018 equivalent, having notched a seven percent advance relative to $134.5 billion of the prior year.

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Business Highlights

Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances also came in at $25.9 billion in May 2019, lower three percent month-on-month from $26.7 billion in April 2019. Across a yearly interval, the figure also moved lower by 16 percent when weighed against $31 billion in May 2018.

Business highlights, according to the company’s press release, also showed that a total of 639,000 customer accounts were active at IB during May 2019. The figure was higher by one percent month-on-month when compared to April 2019 (630.700 accounts), and 20 percent higher year-on-year from 532,800 accounts.

On average, in May 2019 Interactive Brokers charged clients commission fees of $3.69 per order, including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees, with the key products metrics coming out at $2.32 for stocks, $5.08 for equity options and $5.71 for futures orders.

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