Stock Watch: National Discount Brokers Soars

Online broker National Discount Broker (Nasdaq: NDB) climbed 9-1/4 to 45-1/4 — a gain of nearly 26 percent — on Tuesday after Deustche Bank Alex Brown initiated coverage of the company with a strong buy rating and 12-month, $100 price target.

That might seem like an aggressive target, but even after Tuesday’s rise, National Discount Brokers, which is profitable, has a market value of $750 million. By contrast, E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP), which climbed 1-5/16 to 39-3/16 on Tuesday, is worth more than $9.1 billion. Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), which gained 8-5/16 to 92-7/16 after getting a strong guy rating from Pacific Crest on Tuesday, is worth nearly $5.4 billion. Wit Capital (Nasdaq: WITC), which rose 4-7/16 to 31-1/2 on Tuesday, is more than $2.2 billion.

In that regard, National Discount Brokers — which had approximately 137,000 customer accounts, with customer assets of about $7.5 billion at the end of April — could be relatively cheap.

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