Shares of online broker TD Waterhouse (Nasdaq: TWE) gained more than 12 percent on Wednesday, rising 1-15/16 to 17-1/2 after the company announced record profits that far surpassed analysts’ expectations. TD Waterhouse reported a fiscal first quarter profit of $57 million, or 15 cents per share — representing a 172 percent increase over the fourth quarter of last year and a 184 percent increase over the first quarter of last year. TD Waterhouse also reported revenue of $382 million, 77 percent more than the revenue reported in the first quarter of last year.
After the announcement, Salomon Smith Barney upgraded TD Waterhouse from outperform to buy. Even after Wednesday’s gain, however, shares of TD Waterhouse are well off their June initial public offering price of $24. The crowded online brokerage sector has been beaten down recently, and TD Waterhouse looks like one of the better values for investors interested in the business.