Robinhood jumps as retail trading rebound powers record quarter

By Thomson Reuters May 9, 2024 | 5:34 AM

(Reuters) – Robinhood Markets jumped in premarket trading on Thursday after reporting record first-quarter revenue and profit thanks to mom-and-pop investors returning to its commission-free platform to trade cryptocurrencies.

Retail trading has been on the road to recovery since bitcoin and U.S. stocks scaled record highs earlier this year, helped by bets of a soft landing for the economy and expectations of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

The approval of the first spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. in January also helped the crypto industry regain some investor confidence after suffering several high-profile collapses over the past two years.

Robinhood crushed Wall Street expectations on Wednesday when it reported a 40% surge in revenue and a profit of 18 cents per share, compared with a loss of 57 cents a year ago.

Its cryptocurrency revenue more than tripled to $126 million, while equities revenue soared 44%.

Robinhood was at the center of the 2021 retail trading frenzy, when people used the platform to pump money into so-called “meme stocks” during lockdowns. Its fortunes later turned as household budgets came under pressure from decades-high inflation and rising borrowing costs.

Clouding some optimism around the earnings report was the company’s disclosure from earlier this week that its crypto trading arm had received a so-called Wells notice from the U.S. SEC over tokens traded on its platform.

The notice is issued when the regulator plans to bring enforcement action against a company.

Robinhood’s shares were last up about 5% at $18.80 before the bell. The stock has surged 40% so far this year.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)