This should be a big week for E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC). Between last night's quarterly earnings report and the latest E*Trade Baby ad installment during this weekend's Super Bowl game, the discount broker will be making news.

Spoiler alert: From the outtakes the company posted on Google's YouTube last week, I can tell you that the baby is now a little older, and joined by a few of his friends. Looking over last night's report, the same can be said about E*Trade itself: It’s a little older, a little wiser, and setting up play dates with far more of its pals.

Once you get past the reality that E*Trade is still not profitable, it's easy to warm up to the company's performance. Daily average revenue trades clocked in at 216,000, an 18% sequential upgrade. The company closed out the fourth quarter with 4.5 million retail customer accounts, adding 97,000 net new accounts (most of them on the brokerage side).

Shaky market? Well, E*Trade wrapped up the final three months of 2008 with $3.5 billion in net asset inflows.

Yes, E*Trade's stock is in the gutter. Yes, the company is in active consideration to follow banking fatcats Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) by cracking open the TARP piggy bank. I didn't say that there wouldn't be any teething pains. However, the company has spent the past year deleveraging its balance sheet and pocketing some serious coin by selling non-core assets, and it's coming off its strongest period of organic growth in five years.

E*Trade has a long way to go before it follows in the profitable footsteps of rivals TD*AMERITRADE (NASDAQ:AMTD) and Charles Schwab (NASDAQ:SCHW). But it's clearly taking steps in the right direction, distancing itself from its near-collapse and strengthening with every passing quarter.

Here's hoping both E*Trade and its pint-sized mascot keep growing.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been trading exclusively through discount brokers since 1990, but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.