03 September 2014

Nasdaq OMXX initiates cost reduction plan as weak business trends continue

25 April 2012  |  1699 views  |  0 Source: Nasdaq OMX

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. ("NASDAQ OMX®") (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported results for the first quarter of 2012.

First quarter net exchange revenues1 were $411 million compared to $413 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a constant currency basis, first quarter 2012 net exchange revenues increased by $3 million, or up 1% compared to the prior year quarter.

Operating expenses were $240 million, compared to $230 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding $9 million of restructuring and other charges, and $2 million of merger and strategic initiative expenses, operating expenses were $229 million in the first quarter of 2012. Non-GAAP operating expenses were up $8 million, or up $10 million on a constant currency basis, compared to the prior year quarter primarily due to higher professional and contract services expense, higher occupancy expense as well as slightly higher marketing and advertising expense.

First quarter non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.61, on par with the prior year results. Non-GAAP earnings per share exclude $9 million of restructuring and other charges, $2 million of merger and strategic initiatives expense, and a $12 million impairment charge on the write down of our equity investment in EMCF. Net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX for the first quarter of 2012 was $85 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared with $104 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter.

Bob Greifeld, NASDAQ OMX's CEO, commented: "In the first quarter, we achieved non-GAAP EPS of $0.61, at the same level as of the prior year, and our fourth best quarterly result ever. While we experienced a decline in our volume driven U.S. cash equity trading and U.S. derivative trading and clearing businesses compared to the prior year quarter, these declines were almost completely offset by growth in our other businesses. This continues to highlight the importance and success of our ongoing efforts to diversify our business model. Against this backdrop, we continue to focus on the things that we can control. We have introducucduced a cost reduction plan and anticipate an annualized run rate of $50 million in cost savings by the end of 2012, with $25 million in cost savings realized in 2012. We initiated these efforts as part of our ongoing commitment to cost leadership. The cost reduction plan ensures that we will have the correct business infrastructure in place should the current weak business trends continue, and it positions us well for when our business returns to growth."

Lee Shavel, NASDAQ OMX's EVP and Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are pleased to be taking the next step in our capital return strategy, initiating a cash dividend to complement our ongoing share repurchase program as a means of returning capital to our shareholders. This decision was based on rigorous financial analysis, and underscores the stability of our operations, the strength of our cash flows and our confidence in the company's attractive business model. We continue to focus on having a balanced capital deployment effort, and in the past quarter we reduced debt by $110 million, further deleveraging our balance sheet and enhancing our financial flexibility for the future. NASDAQ OMX also returned another $50 million to shareholders through our ongoing share repurchase program during the quarter."

NASDAQ OMX announces it has signed a non-binding agreement with LCH.Clearnet Group Limited regarding LCH.Clearnet Group's proposed acquisition of International Derivatives Clearing Group, LLC ("IDCG"). If the transaction proceeds, LCH.Clearnet Group would become the sole owner of IDCG and NASDAQ OMX would become a shareholder of LCH.Clearnet Group.

In anticipation of new regulations proposed by the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, NASDAQ OMX Nordic Clearing implemented a member default fund structure. Under this new regulatory structure, clearing members are required to contribute to the total regulatory capital. As of March 31, 2012, total member contributions equaled $163 million of which $145 million were cash contributions. As a result, NASDAQ OMX released $83 million in clearing capital, with an additional estimated $30 million to be released in the second quarter.

At March 31, 2012, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $525 million and total debt of $2,007 million, resulting in net debt of $1,482 million. This compares to net debt of $1,611 million at December 31, 2011. During the first quarter, we repurchased 1.9 million shares of our outstanding common stock under our share repurchase program, for a total of $50 million. Since January 2009, we have repurchased approximately $950 million of our outstanding common stock, representing 43.7 million shares at an average price of $21.66.
BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS

Cash Equities (13% of total net exchange revenues) - Total net cash equity trading revenues were $53 million in the first quarter of 2012, down $9 million compared to the first quarter of 2011. The decline was primarily driven by lower industry trading volumes in the U.S. (6.83 billion average daily share volume in Q112 vs. 7.94 billion in Q111). During the quarter, NASDAQ OMX maintained its leadership share of total U.S. matched volume. U.S. cash equity trading revenue capture was lower, driven by our discounted Investor Support Program, a volume incentive program which accounted for an increased proportion of our volume.

Derivatives (18% of total net exchange revenues) - Total net derivative trading and clearing revenues were $74 million in the first quarter of 2012, down $6 million compared to the first quarter of 2011. The year-over-year decline was the result of lower industry trading volumes, and a slightly lower market share in the U.S. derivative market.

Access and Broker Services (15% of total net exchange revenues) - Revenues of $62 million were up $5 million compared to the first quarter of 2011. The increase was primarily driven by increased demand for Access Services.

Market Data (21% of total net exchange revenues) - Total Market Data revenues of $87 million reflect a $6 million increase compared to the year ago quarter. The increase in Market Data revenues was primarily the result of increased U.S. tape plan revenues and increased sales of U.S. proprietary market data products.

Issuer Services (22% of total net exchange revenues) - Revenues were $90 million in the quarter, up $1 million compared to the first quarter of 2011, as increased Corporate Solutions and Global Index Group revenues more than offset lower listing fee revenues. Corporate Solutions revenues were impacted by a reclassification which nets $2.5 million of offsetting revenues and costs. The reclassification also impacts prior year periods.

Market Technology (11% of total net exchange revenues) - Revenues of $45 million increased $2 million, or 5%, compared to the first quarter of 2011.

COST GUIDANCE - For the full year of 2012 total core operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $880 million to $900 million, plus an additional $40 million to $50 million in incremental new initiative spending, resulting in total operating expenses in the range of $920 million to $950 million. This revised guidance reflects the partial realization in 2012 of our cost reduction plan, and the estimated $10 million reduction in expenses resulting from the Corporate Solutions expense reclassification. Our revised 2012 cost guidance reflects $25 million in cost savings resulting from our cost reduction plan. This cost guidance excludes an anticipated restructuring charge, currently estimated at $30 million, related to the cost reduction plan.

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