Charles Schwab introduces Laudus Growth Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund

On July 13, 2009, Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. the asset management subsidiary of Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW) announced the launch of the Laudus Growth Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund. The newly-launched fund is a successor to the UBS U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund and the latest addition to its array of Laudus Funds.

The Laudus Growth Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund will resort to a “pure growth” strategy, with an objective to yield consistent performance through the application of fundamental growth discipline backed by extensive research and invaluable investment industry experience of the portfolio management team at Growth Investors. The fund will identify and invest in companies believed to have potential for sustainable above-average sales and profit growth.

The Laudus Growth Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund will retain the performance history and four-star Morningstar rating of its predecessor, the UBS U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund.

The fund will allow subscriptions of a minimum initial investment of $100. The fund does not have loads or transaction fees, and its net operating expense ratio (0.78%) is significantly below the Morningstar category average (1.37%).

Further, the company expects its assets to grow in the range of 8-10% annually. The company had $1.2 trillion in client assets at the end of May 2009.

Charles Schwab is a leading provider of securities brokerage, banking and other financial services to individual investors, institutional clients, and other broker-dealers. Its subsidiaries include Charles Schwab & Co. (a leading discount broker-dealer), Charles Schwab Investment Management (a mutual fund investment advisor), CyberTrader (an electronic trader) and Charles Schwab Bank.

Though Charles Schwab’s fundamentals remain strong, we suspect that the results will be impacted by the challenging market conditions and weakening economy. However, the stronger client activity resulting from increased market volatility will provide some support during the coming quarters.

Ahead of its 2Q09 earnings results, we are maintaining our Hold recommendation on the shares.
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