Shares of UP Fintech Holding (TIGR 0.54%), primarily an online brokerage in China known as Tiger Brokers, soared on Tuesday after the company provided financial results for the first quarter of 2021. It had triple-digit top-line growth coupled with lower expenses, resulting in a net profit. That excited shareholders, and as of 11:20 a.m. EDT today, the stock was up 13%.
In the first quarter, UP Fintech generated revenue of $81.3 million, a 256% year-over-year increase. Like many brokerages in the U.S., Tiger Brokers saw a surge in trading volumes that contributed to the strong revenue growth. However, the company is also seeing impressive adoption from customers. For example, accounts with deposits have increased 45% just since the beginning of the year.
As a percentage of revenue, first-quarter expenses were way down for UP Fintech. Last year, operating expenses were 88% of revenue. This year, that fell to 57% as the company gained operating leverage. Because of this, it was able to post a respectable net profit of $21.1 million.
Trading volumes are hard to predict for brokerage companies. So one of the revenue drivers in the quarter might not be there as much in the future for UP Fintech. That said, this fintech company added a lot of new customers during the quarter. Total accounts were 1.4 million at the end of the quarter, up 88% from last year. This, coupled with the growth in customer deposits, bodes very well for this company longer term, even if trading volume pulls back in the near term.