Dow Jones

NEW YORK — CSFBdirect, the online brokerage arm of Credit Suisse First Boston Inc., is still growing despite the choppy market, its chief executive said in an interview Thursday.

But CEO Blake Darcy said he could not predict when the firm will be profitable, given the heavy investments it intends to make abroad and domestically in 2001.

Walk-in branches to complement the unit’s online operations are a major initiative. CSFBdirect has already opened one branch this year and plans to have 20 by yearend.

“We’re at the point this year where you’re going to see us ramp it up pretty quickly,” Mr. Darcy said.

CSFBdirect, formerly DLJdirect, reported fourth-quarter results Thursday. It beat analysts’ expectations of a loss of 9 cents a share. On an operating basis, the company incurred a loss of $6.7 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, against an operating loss of $2 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Operating results exclude $4.1 million of expenses related to the name change.

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