LPL Financial Holdings Inc. reported record-breaking fourth quarter and year-over-year earnings, the company announcd Thursday.

The nation’s largest independent broker-dealer reported record fourth-quarter earnings per share (prior to intangibles) of $1.68, which was 8¢ above the consensus estimate and up 13% year over year.

It also reported net Q4 2019 income of $127 million, or $1.53 per share, compared to Q4 2018 income of $120 million, or $1.36 per share. However, Q4 2019 income retreated from its previous high of $132 million, or $1.57 per share, in Q3 2019.

According to a spokesperson, advisors keep a higher percentage of what they earn over the course of the year, which drives the seasonality of LPL’s results and those of many other publicly-traded financial advisory firms. The spokesperson said that Q1 traditionally has the lowest payout and Q4 the highest as advisor payout rates reach different tiers as the year progresses.

While Q4 2019 lagged behind Q3 2019, the spokesperson said that every quarter of 2019 broke records when compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

On a full-year basis, LPL said 2019 earnings per share rose 13% versus the prior year, to $1.53. Net income increased 5% on a year-over-year basis, to $127 million. 

Elsewhere, LPL reported a 22% year-over-year increase in total brokerage and advisory assets, to a record $764 billion. Total client cash balances advanced $2.5 billion, to $33.7 billion. Client cash balances as a percentage of total assets were 4.4%, up from 4.3% in the third quarter.

The firm reported that its advisor count was 16,464, up by 115, and the year-to-date production retention rate was 96.5%. Advisor count was up 554 year-over-year during 2019, prior to the impact of a hybrid firm that formed its own broker-dealer and departed, according to the news release.

In February 2019, hybrid RIA Independent Financial Partners received Finra approval to launch its broker-dealer, IFP Securities LLC. IFP, which previously served as a hybrid RIA and OSJ with LPL Financial, chose to separate from LPL in April 2017. The Tampa, Fla.-based OSJ represented the biggest exit from LPL since Ron Carson’s departure in 2017.

LPL Financial, founded in 1989 through the merger of two brokerage firms—Linsco, established in 1968, and Private Ledger, established in 1973—has headquarters in Ft. Mill, S.C., San Diego, and Boston.