In times of economic uncertainty, securities brokers often see a spike in their business as anxious investors ramp up their trading activity. This seems to be the case with Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ:IBKR), which is reporting a surge in March.
The company's monthly statistics, released on Wednesday, reveal that its daily average revenue trades (DARTs) rose by 127% on a year-over-year basis and were 46% higher than in February. All told, the volume averaged 1.96 million trades daily.
Although much of this can be attributed to increased overall trading activity because of investor concern about the economic fallout of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, that's not the only source of the increase. It's at least partially also due to the creation of new client accounts.
Interactive Brokers' tally of client accounts stood at roughly 760,000 for the month, which was 22% higher than March 2019's figure, and represented a 6% month-over-month uptick.
Those numbers will no doubt draw interest from investors, particularly considering that Interactive Brokers is so far one of the few brokerages that hasn't been acquired by a large bank or financial services company. A recent wave of consolidation in the industry saw peer E*Trade Financial swallowed up by white-shoe investment bank Morgan Stanley and TD Ameritrade fall into the arms of Charles Schwab.
On Wednesday, Interactive Brokers was one of the rare stocks that rose on the day, in contrast to the overall bloodbath on the wider exchange. The company's shares inched up marginally, by 0.2%.