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Customers at a TD Ameritrade office check online stock prices in this file photo.

TD Ameritrade's quarterly earnings rose, helped by fees on deposit accounts and investment products, while revenues fell along with trading levels as investors stepped back from the choppy markets.

TD Ameritrade said on Tuesday it earned $152-million (U.S.), or 27 cents a diluted share, in its fiscal first quarter, ended Dec. 31, up from $145-million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had been expecting the Omaha, Nebraska-based company to earn 26 cents a diluted share.

"We continue to execute well against our growth strategy in the face of a difficult market environment," Fred Tomczyk, chief executive of TD Ameritrade, said in a statement.

"We remain focused on maintaining this organic growth momentum, keeping our expenses in check and using our strong balance sheet and free cash flow to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves."

Revenue dipped to $653.4-million from $656.2-million, which was below expectations of $671.5-million.

TD Ameritrade is the No. 1 U.S. discount broker by trading volume and its results are often seen as a proxy for the mood of Main Street investors. The company derives more than 40 per cent of its annual revenue from trading fees and commissions.

The company's clients made an average of 367,479 trades per day in the quarter, down from 415,739 from a year earlier. Commission and transaction fees fell to $273.4-million from $292.7-million, pressuring revenues.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Mr. Tomczyk said that investors seemed to be growing weary of the day-to-day price swings in the markets as a result of the debt crisis in Europe.

Total client assets rose 9 per cent to $406.3-billion. Interest rate-sensitive assets rose 16 per cent to $79-billion.

TD Ameritrade said its clients added a net $10.2-billion in new funds to their TD Ameritrade accounts in the quarter, for an annualized growth rate of 11 per cent.

The company earned $205,042 on fees from insured deposit accounts, up from $178,471 a year earlier, while revenue from investment product fees rose to $43,487 from $40,697.

TD Ameritrade said it repurchased 6.7 million shares of its common stock in the quarter at an average price of $15.91 per share, for around $107-million. Over the last year, it has used $451-million to repurchase 26.8 million shares at an average price of $16.82 per share.

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