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E-Trade ends review with no plans for sale

NEW YORK (AP) — Online broker E-Trade Financial Corp. shares fell 3.5 percent during the trading day and plunged another 5 percent in after-market trading following its announcement that it had concluded a strategic review and has no plans for a sale.

Shares fell 34 cents to close at $9.48. After it made the announcement, shares fell 42 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $9.02.

As of Thursday’s close shares were off more than 40 percent since the beginning of the year. They’ve traded as high as $18.13 in the past 52 weeks, but that was back in February.

The company said it has concluded the review begun in August that was designed to consider all alternatives including a possible sale. The board unanimously determined that the continued execution of the company’s business plan is currently the best alternative, it said.

That also was the recommendation of Goldman Sachs & Co., hired as an adviser for the review.

“We will remain focused on delivering the best investing experience to our customers, strengthening our brokerage business, continuing to improve the performance of our loan portfolio and enhancing our franchise,” CEO Steven Freiberg said in a statement.

E-Trade’s largest shareholder and bondholder, Citadel Advisors LLC, pushed the company earlier this year to seek a buyer and was been critical of management.

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