TD Ameritrade 4Q profit drops nearly 13 percent

AP News
Posted: Oct 29, 2012 7:55 PM
TD Ameritrade 4Q profit drops nearly 13 percent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. on Monday reported a 13 percent drop in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit as low interest rates and slower trading restricted the online brokerage's revenue.

The Omaha-based company posted net income of $143 million, or 26 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That's down from $164 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.

Ameritrade says its revenue declined 8 percent to $647 million from last year's $704 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Ameritrade to report earnings per share of 28 cents on revenue of $667.2 million.

Ameritrade said it will increase its quarterly dividend to 9 cents per share from the current 6 cents, and the company predicted earning between $1 and $1.20 per share in fiscal 2013. Wall Street is looking for $1.05 a share.

"Our financial position and cash flow remain healthy, providing us with the continued flexibility to return capital to our shareholders while investing in future growth in these challenging macroeconomic times," Ameritrade CEO Fred Tomczyk said.

Ameritrade moved up the release of its earnings report one day to Monday because of the hurricane headed toward New York, so shareholders and analysts would be able to get the information. But the company postponed its conference call until next Monday.

New York-based Citi analyst William Katz said in a research note that Ameritrade's solid results fit with what he expected, although he noted he was scrutinizing the results by candlelight because of power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy.

Even though trading was lower than last year, Ameritrade handled more trades than expected this fall, he noted.

In the fourth-quarter, Ameritrade handled an average of 328,280 trades per day. That's 21 percent less than the 415,739 trades per day the company handled a year ago when trading soared in the turmoil after the U.S. credit downgrade.

As a result, transaction-based revenue fell 19 percent to $256 million.

Besides transaction-based revenue, Ameritrade also generates revenue from asset-based fees and interest it gets on the assets it holds.

The total client assets Ameritrade held at the end of the quarter also grew nearly 25 percent over last year to $472.3 billion.


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