Nasdaq narrows losses; looks for more cuts

Nasdaq narrows losses; looks for more cuts

US electronic exchange Nasdaq is reporting a net loss of $5.5 million and a 12.6% drop in revenues for the third quarter of 2004 due to falling trading volumes.

Nasdaq slimmed the workforce to 891 jobs during the quarter in an on-going effort to reduce costs and plans to cut another 80 jobs by the end of the year.

The exchange says falling trading volumes caused the $5.5 million loss - which is considerably smaller than the $38.0 million reported for Q3 2003. Robert Greifeld, CEO, Nasdaq, says: "Average daily share volume decreased 10.9% from the second quarter."

Total revenue for the quarter was $124.0 million, down from $141.9 million a year ago.

Further cost reduction measures include the closure of Nasdaq's data centre facility in Maryland and the subleasing of office space at the exchange's headquarters in New York. Nasdaq has also re-negotiated operating leases associated with its technology and telecommunications platforms.

David Warren, CFO at the exchange, says: "Nasdaq's real estate, technology and corporate expense actions are designed to improve productivity and streamline processes, allowing for a leaner organisation and increasing our long-term earnings potential."

Nasdaq says total expenses decreased 20.0% to $123.7 million from $154.7 million in the year-ago quarter and increased 11.0% from the prior quarter.

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