Robinhood Q2 Revenues From Order Flow Tumble 34%

Yesterday Robinhood (HOOD) released its preliminary revenue numbers for Q2 when it published its Form 606 and 607 disclosure for April through June. While the data covers payment for orderflow (PFOF), this remains the biggest component of the recently IPOed company's top-line (dogecoin revenues notwithstanding), so it serves as a good proxy for what to expect when the company publishes its first earnings release as a public company.

The numbers were quite disappointing, and a stark reminder of just how fickle retail trading can be.

After a blistering Q1 which saw a record surge in retail trading, and which translated into record payment for orderflow to Robinhood to the tune of $331 million, the bulk of which was for option orderflow at $198 million and was paid by Citadel which accounted for roughly 43% ($142 million) of Robinhood's total Q1 revenues, things slowed down substantially in Q2.

As the chart below shows, the retail trading frenzy ended with a bang in April when Robinhood's payment for orderflow was just $65.9 million, and then dropped further in May, sliding to just $57.4 million - the lowest since October. The good news: there was a modest rebound in June when as we discussed previously, retail investors shifted their gamma-ramping attention to tech giants such as Amazon and Apple, resulting in PFOF revenue of $93.6 million.

(Click on image to enlarge)

What we also found notable is that Robinhood's revenue from orderflow from S&P and non S&P500 stocks was down 25% Y/Y, with the only value that Robinhood providers to internalizers such as Citadel is selling it option traffic which rose 48% from $111.1 million a year ago to $164.8 million in Q2 2021. How soon until some dedicated option market-maker decides to steal Robinhood's market share and aggressively starts dumping option traffic data to the Citadels of the world; alternatively what happens when the "gamma" trade is no longer a moneymaking cash cow, and retail traders get fed up with selling weekly calls and puts when their premiums gets wiped out after a major market shakeout?

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