Interactive Brokers Group Inc. 's ( IBKR">IBKR ) Electronic Brokerage segment has announced its monthly brokerage data for December 2011. The segment under review clears and settles trades globally for both individual and institutional clients.
Interactive's total customer accounts for December were 189,100, up 20% from 157,900 in December 2010 and 1% from 187,700 in November 2011. Though total customer Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs ) rose 12% from the prior-year month, it declined 22% from the prior month to 374,000.
During December, Interactive recorded Cleared CustomerDARTs of 343,000 compared with 302,000 in December 2010 and 442,000 in November 2011. However, on an annualized basis, the company reported Cleared Average DART per customer account of 459,000, down from 485,000 in the comparable month last year and 596,000 recorded in the previous month.
Interactive's total options contracts fell 4% from the prior-year month and 17% from the prior month to 18,680 in December 2011. However, during the reported month, the company's futures contracts stood at 6,365, up from 5,650 in the year-ago month but down from 8,295 in the previous month.
Interactive also provides period-end statistics for customer equity, customer credit balances and customer margin loan balances. For the period ended December 2011, customer equity stood at $25.1 billion, growing 14% year over year but dipping 1% sequentially.
Additionally, Interactive's Electronic Brokerage segment recorded customer margin loan balances of $7.0 billion in the reported month, flat both year over year and sequentially. The company's customer credit balances of $16.6 billion at December 2011-end jumped 16% from $14.3 billion at December 2010 end and inched up 1% from $16.5 billion at November 2011-end.
Though Interactive's fundamentals remain strong with a liquid balance sheet, sturdy capital base and high barriers to entry, we remain concerned about the Market Making segment's ability to consistently generate sufficient returns for funding dividend payments. However, continued strong performance of its brokerage business and the restoring of quarterly dividend were quite impressive.
Currently, Interactive retains aZacks #1 Rank (a short-term Strong Buy rating). However, one of its peers, Knight Capital Group Inc. ( KCG">KCG ) retains aZacks #3 Rank (a short-term Hold rating).