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NDB jumps on strong sales, earnings projections

National Discount Brokers shares charged up 8 15/16, or 29 percent, to 39 15/16 Tuesday after the brokerage firm said its third-quarter sales and earnings will "substantially exceed" analysts' estimates.

NDB (NYSE: NDB) said it expects to earn between 95 cents to $1.05 a share on an operating basis in the quarter.

First Call consensus pegged NDB for a profit of only 8 cents a share in the quarter.

Company officials said record trading volume in the past three months was responsible for the impressive upside surprise.

"It will be our best quarter yet," CFO Daniel Fishbane told Reuters.

The Jersey City, N.J.-based broker, whose stock-trading Web site was shut down briefly last Thursday by an apparent attack by computer hackers, said it expects record sales of between $125 million to $135 million in the quarter.

Fellow online and traditional brokerage houses also enjoyed nice gains Tuesday.

ETrade Group Inc. (Nasdaq: EGRP) picked up 1 7/16 to 24 5/16 while Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCH) and DLJ Direct (NYSE: DIR) rose 3 3/16 and 11/16 a share, respectively.

Earlier this month, National Discount said its online brokerage unit, NDB.com, had 200,000 customer accounts.

After missing Street estimates in its second quarter NDB said it would spend heavily on new offices and technology in the months ahead. It also said it would spend more on advertising to lure customers.

Reuters contributed to this report. >