OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — TD Ameritrade reported a 40 percent surge in fourth-quarter profit with the online brokerage handling more trades in the months leading up to the U.S. budget standoff.
The Omaha, Neb., company also said Tuesday that it would pay another special dividend of 50 cents per share this December and increase its regular quarterly dividend to 12 cents per share.
Ameritrade reported $200 million in net income, or 36 per share, during the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That's up from $143 million, or 26 cents per share a year ago.
Revenue grew nearly 10 percent to $709 million.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Ameritrade to report earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $715.4 million.
Shares of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. slipped 30 cents, or about 1 percent, to $27.63 in afternoon trading.
Citi Investment Research analyst William Katz said he expected investors would have a mixed reaction to the results because of some questions about next year's outlook combined with the strong dividend announcement. Katz maintained his recommendation to buy the stock.
Ameritrade makes money from trading commissions and generates revenue from assets it holds for clients and fees for advice.
The current low interest rates limit Ameritrade's asset-based revenue, but the company will benefit when interest rates rise.
Company officials said Tuesday that interest rates should begin to creep higher next year and help Ameritrade's earnings. But Ameritrade President and CEO Fred Tomczyk said the extent to which rates rise and the economy keeps improving will depend on how much the nation's leaders can agree on fiscal policy.
The company predicted its profit in fiscal 2014 will fall between $1.20 and $1.40 per share.
Tomcyzk said he's proud the company has been able to continue attracting more client assets in a tough environment. Ameritrade reported $49.5 billion in net new client assets over its fiscal year for 10 percent growth.