Nasdaq OMX profit slides on market share declines and write-offs

Nasdaq OMX profit slides on market share declines and write-offs

Nasdaq OMX has posted a 31% drop in quarterly profits as the transAtlantic exchange operator incurred some $35 million in charges and saw its market share in US stock trading drop for the fifth successive quarter.

Nasdaq OMX earnings were $69 million, or 33 cents per share, in the second quarter, down from $100 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue, excluding rebates and other fees, dropped 13% to $367 million on declining volumes of US cash equities and Nordic derivative trades.

The US stock market operator has engaged in a bitter price war with smaller rivals on its home turf, hitting revenues and sending its share of cash equity trading crashing to 20%, compared to 30% this time last year.

Nasdaq OMX also incurred $35 million in one-off charges during the quarter, including a $17 million loss against the sale of its stake in Swedish technology outfit Orc Software and $5 million against its holding in the Oslo Bors.

Excluding these exceptional items, net income hit the $99 million mark, just shy of the $100 million figure reported in the equivalent period a year ago.

The past quarter has also seen the departure of a number of senior executives, including president Magnus Bocker, CFO David Warren, transaction services head Chris Concannon, and technology senior vice president Darren Mulholland.

Bob Greifeld, Nasdaq OMX chief executive says turbulence in top management will not blow the Exchange off course: "Our commitment to drive growth through the execution of strategic initiatives and the realisation of operating efficiencies remains firm."

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