Not a lot seems to change on a quarter-to-quarter basis with A.G. Edwards (NYSE:AGE). It's still a retail client-focused investment house that generally eschews the big trading efforts of larger rivals such as Bear Stearns (NYSE:BSC) or Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) and doesn't really compete on the same investment banking stage as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MWD) or Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

Nevertheless, results still manage to stay more or less on track. Net revenue was a bit light in this period but was still up nearly 6%. Commission revenue was all but flat, and what growth there was seems to have come from annuities. Asset management was the big achiever, with more than 15% growth, and revenue from principal transactions fell more than 10% on less fixed income trading. And while the company has been working to expand its investment banking efforts (in part by investing in personnel), revenue here was basically flat as well.

On the expense side, non-interest expenses were up about 6%, though compensation rose less than 5%. The company also took about $11 million (or $0.07 per share) in reserves and settlements for certain legal matters, though that was partially offset by a gain relating to taxes.

Speaking of legal matters, it does look like the company is going to face some discipline over mutual fund market timing and may also face sanctions regarding the supervision (or insufficiency thereof) of some fee-based accounts. Given the company's pretty good reputation, though, I'd say these are isolated incidents at worst.

At the bottom line, this remains a good company and a good play on the likely ongoing growth in retirement planning and asset management. The major hitch is still the same, though. Namely, the stock just doesn't look priced to offer major market-beating returns over the next few years. Should it get cheaper, say a trailing P/E in the low teens, the story might become much more interesting.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).