I got an e-mail this morning that my trading account with OptionsXpress is merging with Charles Schwab. Well, considering Schwab (SCHW) has a market cap over 20 times that of OptionsXpress (OXPS), it’s more like they bought OX for their options/futures trading platform and active-trader clients. The WSJ reports:
OptionsXpress shareholders will get 1.02 shares of Schwab stock in exchange for each OptionsXpress share. That values OptionsXpress at $17.91 a share–a 17% premium based on Friday’s closing prices. OptionsXpress’s stock jumped 17% to $17.90 Monday, while Schwab finished up 0.5% to $17.65.
That 17% premium works out to valuation of $1.0 billion. Looks like I’m going to be Schwab customer for the first time. What about commission rates? OX’s options rates are very competitive.
Schwab doesn’t “have any plans right now to take away the OptionsXpress platform” at this time, Bettinger said. The firm said it would try to implement across the combined company the lower of the merging companies’ commission rates.
OptionsXpress still has their $100 sign-up bonus offer live, so if you want a Chuck Schwab account, this way you’ll get a bonus for joining. Here’s a link to my perhaps-soon-to-be-stale OptionsXpress review.