Talk to Chuck about turning around a flagging discount brokerage.

San Francisco-based Charles Schwab reported that with net income of $243 million, or 19 cents per share, the first quarter of 2006 was its best in nearly two years, according to a Reuters report. Revenue was up 21 percent over last year, to $1.28 billion. The first quarter of 2005 delivered $145 million in net income, or 11 cents a share.

This quarter's earnings are on-target with analyst predictions, according to a Reuters poll.

New net assets spiked 75%, or by $28.1 billion, and the firm increased its number of new brokerage accounts by 25%, or 188,000 account openings. The company announced last month that this quarter's results would include $25 million in pre-tax charges stemming from layoffs in New York and San Francisco, through which the company trimmed 200 employees, or about 1.4% of its staff.

Schwab suffered during the Internet crash of 2000, when plummeting stock prices pushed many individuals and their frequent trading out of the marketplace. Schwab's 2003 earnings were 80% below its 1999 apex.

In 2004, founder Charles Schwab remerged from semi-retirement to commandeer control of day-to-day operations from then co-CEO David Pottruck.

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