NASDAQ OMX announces Fourth Quarter 2009 results

NASDAQ OMX announces Fourth Quarter 2009 results

08/02/10

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. ("NASDAQ OMX®"; NASDAQ: NDAQ) today reported net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX of $43 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX of $60 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2009, and net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX of $35 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX for the full year of 2009 was $266 million, or $1.25 per diluted share.

Included in fourth quarter of 2009 results are:

  • $51 million of impairment charges related to unconsolidated investees, net of tax;
  • $16 million in pre-tax expenses associated with occupancy sub-lease reserves, workforce reductions, and other non-recurring items; and
  • $12 million of pre-tax gains on the sales of certain businesses.

Excluding the above items net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX calculated on a non-GAAP basis was $99 million, compared with non-GAAP net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX of $89 million for the third quarter of 2009 and $110 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.  Non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share were $0.46 for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share of $0.42 for the third quarter of 2009 and $0.52 for the fourth quarter of 2008.

"We've accomplished much in the past year, completing our integration efforts and furthering the diversity of our revenue model through growth in market technology, in European derivative trading, and in fee based services," commented Bob Greifeld, NASDAQ OMX's Chief Executive Officer.  "Today we are a more efficient operator with better financial flexibility, placing us in a strong position to lever our expertise in trading technology, clearing, data distribution, and corporate services.  The changing dynamics of our industry are providing numerous growth opportunities and our technology leadership leaves us well positioned to swiftly capitalize on those changes to expand our business."  

Highlights

  • Grew Nordic derivative volume in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 28.3 million transactions, representing an increase of nearly 18% from prior quarter levels. Driving this growth was the transition to NASDAQ OMX of trading activity previously done on EDX.
  • Welcomed, at the beginning of December, 34 new international members for trading and clearing in Nordic derivatives. This represents an annual member increase of more than 60 percent when compared to last year. A membership at NASDAQ OMX Stockholm allows access to all Nordic equities and fixed income derivatives products through one single trading platform. Among its products is the OMXS30, the third most traded domestic index in Europe.
  • Completed the first cross border merger of clearinghouses, with the combination of the Nord Pool and Nordic clearinghouses. The combination provided clearing capital synergies while offering the ability to deliver enhanced services across financial derivative and commodity products through continued development of clearing technology.
  • Together with Nord Pool Spot, launched N2EX, a marketplace for physical UK power contracts. N2EX establishes an auction-driven reference price based on the physical market which will be used as the basis for N2EX's planned derivatives market later in 2010.
  • Witnessed volume growth in the European power market, with total cleared power contracts increasing 28% from the third quarter of 2009, and 14% from the fourth quarter of 2008.
  • Reached new market share highs in the trading of U.S. equity options contracts. The combined market share of NASDAQ OMX PHLX and The NASDAQ Options Market ("NOM") averaged 22% during the fourth quarter of 2009, as PHLX averaged 19% and NOM averaged 3%, an increase of 2% when compared to combined market share of 20% in the third quarter of 2009. Total volume traded on these markets grew 30% in the fourth quarter of 2009 when compared to the same period last year.
  • Improved market share in trading of US equities. Market share for The NASDAQ Stock Market grew to 21% while NASDAQ OMX BX grew to 3%, for a combined share of 24%, up from a combined share of 22% in Q309.
  • Captured a total of 143 new listings in 2009, including 131 on The NASDAQ Stock Market and 12 on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic. New listings include a record 33 Chinese companies, more than any other U.S. exchange. A total of 124 Chinese companies now list on NASDAQ. Also included in 2009 new listings are 34 initial public offerings.
  • Expanded the offering of Norwegian securities to include the 30 largest Norwegian shares and became the first regulated exchange to offer central counterparty clearing for trading of Norwegian equities, enabling significant cost, risk and liquidity advantages.
  • Named Outstanding Data Provider of the Year by the Financial Information Services Division (FISD) of the Software and Information Industry Association. The award recognizes exchanges or data providers that most closely adhere to the FISD's best practices in customer service and communication.
  • Selected as the primary source of real-time index values for Russell Investments' global indexes. In order to more broadly distribute this comprehensive, rules-based index information, NASDAQ OMX began disseminating real-time values for the Russell Global Indexes in early 2010.
  • Expanded the Global Index Group product offering by launching 28 new indexes in the fourth quarter of 2009, including both custom and NASDAQ OMX indexes. In addition, product sponsors launched 7 new ETFS based on NASDAQ OMX Indexes.
  • Announced plans to expand an agreement with Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, to provide comprehensive analyst research reports on NASDAQ-listed companies.
  • Signed a commercial contract with BM&FBOVESPA (BM&FBOVESPA:BVMF3) regarding global distribution of market data and the provisioning of NASDAQ OMX products and corporate services to public companies in Brazil. NASDAQ OMX also announced plans to develop a communications system to facilitate the routing of orders between participating brokers located in the United States and brokers located in Brazil, subject to required regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
  • Renewed our regulatory services relationship with FINRA, the premier independent regulatory services provider in the United States, and expanded our use of FINRA to NASDAQ OMX PHLX. This illustrates NASDAQ OMX's commitment to providing investors with access to the best regulated markets in the world.
  • Refinanced existing debt by completing a $1 billion underwritten public offering of 5 and 10 year senior unsecured notes and entering into new senior unsecured credit facilities providing for up to $950 million in borrowings, including $700 million in funded term loans and $250 million in an unfunded revolving credit commitment. The refinancing provides increased flexibility regarding the use of free cash, extends the maturity date of debt obligations, and reduces interest rate risk. Additionally, NASDAQ OMX's corporate debt was recently upgraded by both Standard & Poor's (BBB) and Moody's (Baa3). The ratings reflect an investment grade profile from both agencies.

"The strong cash flow of our diverse business model recently provided us with an opportunity to refinance our outstanding credit facility at extremely favorable terms," noted Adena Friedman, Chief Financial Officer. "The terms of the new debt provide us with increased flexibility in our capital management decisions while reducing our interest rate exposure. Additionally, the recent upgrades of our debt ratings speak to our sound financial policy and to the fact that we delivered on the promises of our integration efforts and improved the efficiency of our operations. In 2010, our goal is to maintain this financial discipline while delivering growth to our shareholders. For the full year of 2010, our guidance for total operating expenses is to be in the range of $865 million to $885 million, including approximately $50 million in non-recurring costs."

Financial Review

Revenues

Revenues less liquidity rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees ("net exchange revenues") were $369 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of $20 million, or 6%, from third quarter of 2009 results. Net exchange revenues decreased $34 million, or 8%, from fourth quarter of 2008 results.

Market Services

Market Services net exchange revenues were $240 million, an increase of 4% from the third quarter of 2009, but a decrease of 14% from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Transaction Services

Net exchange revenues from Transaction Services were $150 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of $11 million, or 8%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009, but a decrease of $30 million, or 17%, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

  • Cash Equity Trading net exchange revenues were $54 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up $5 million, or 10%, from the third quarter of 2009 but down $40 million, or 43%, from the prior year quarter.
    • Net U.S. cash equity trading revenues increased when compared to the third quarter of 2009 due to higher average net fees for shares matched on NASDAQ's and NASDAQ OMX BX's trading systems and higher market share. Somewhat offsetting the increase was a decline in industry trading volume, which was down 12% from third quarter of 2009 levels. Revenues decreased when compared to the prior year quarter due primarily to declines in matched share volume and lower average net fee per share matched on NASDAQ's trading system.
    • European cash equity trading revenues declined when compared to the third quarter of 2009 and to the prior year quarter. The modest decline from the third quarter of 2009 is due to lower value traded and to fee changes that were introduced with the implementation of central counterparty clearing during the fourth quarter of 2009. The decline from the fourth quarter of 2008 is primarily due to a decline in value traded, which dropped from €170 billion in the prior year quarter to €139 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.
    • Included in U.S. cash equity trading revenues in the fourth quarter of 2009 are $103 million in SEC Section 31 fees, compared with $94 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $36 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Corresponding cost of revenues, reflecting the reimbursement of these fees to the SEC, is included in brokerage, clearance and exchange fees.
  • Derivative trading and clearing net exchange revenues were $57 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up $3 million, or 6%, from both the third quarter of 2009 and the prior year quarter.
    • Net U.S. derivative trading revenues declined when compared to the third quarter of 2009 and to the prior year quarter, primarily due to lower average net fees for traded contracts.
    • European derivative trading and clearing revenues increased when compared to the third quarter of 2009 and to the fourth quarter of 2008. Increases when compared to the third quarter of 2009 are due to increases in clearing activity for energy contracts and to increases in trading volume for index options and futures contracts. The increase in trading volumes for index options and futures contracts is primarily due to the migration of trading to NASDAQ OMX that was previously transacted at EDX. Growth when compared to the prior year quarter is primarily due to the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX Commodities revenues following the October 21, 2008 closing of NASDAQ OMX's acquisition of Nord Pool ASA's clearing, international derivatives and consulting subsidiaries, and to increases in clearing activity for energy contracts. Also contributing to the increase in revenues when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 are favorable changes in the exchange rates of various currencies as compared to the U.S. dollar.
    • Access Services revenues were $39 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of $3 million, or 8%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009 and $7 million, or 22%, when compared to the prior year quarter. The increase in access services revenues when compared to both the third quarter of 2009 and to the prior year quarter is primarily due to revised fees for access services and increased demand for co-location services.

Market Data

Market Data revenues were $83 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up $4 million, or 5%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009, but down $2 million, or 2%, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

  • Net U.S. tape plans revenues were $33 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, up $2 million, or 6%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009 but down $4 million, or 11%, when compared to the prior year quarter. The increase when compared to the third quarter of 2009 is due to increases in NASDAQ's and NASDAQ OMX BX's trading and quoting market share of U.S equities. The decline in U.S. tape plans revenues, net of revenue sharing plans, in the fourth quarter of 2009 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 is primarily due to the decline in NASDAQ's trading and quoting market share of U.S. equities and a reduction in the size of tape plan revenue pools.
  • U.S. market data products revenues were $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of $1 million, or 3%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009, and an increase of $3 million, or 11%, when compared to the year ago quarter. Revenue growth when compared to the prior year quarter is driven primarily by the growth of products such as the NASDAQ Global Index Data Service, launched in the first quarter of 2009, and other proprietary data products.
  • European market data products revenues were $20 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of $1 million, or 5%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009, but a decrease of $1 million, or 5%, when compared to the prior year quarter. The increase when compared to the third quarter of 2009 is primarily due to changes in the exchange rates of various currencies as compared to the U.S. dollar. The decrease when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 is due to declines in subscriber populations.

Issuer Services

During the fourth quarter of 2009, Issuer Services revenues were $82 million, representing an increase of $1 million, or 1%, from the prior quarter, but a decrease of $3 million, or 4%, from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Global Listing Services

Global Listing Services revenues were $72 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up $1 million, or 1%, from the third quarter of 2009, but down $3 million, or 4%, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. The increase when compared to the third quarter of 2009 is primarily due to higher market capitalization values for European listed equities, which in turn result in higher European listing fees. Decreases in revenues from the prior year period are due primarily to the fourth quarter of 2009 sale of Carpenter Moore, NASDAQ OMX's insurance brokerage business. Also contributing to the decline are lower U.S. annual renewal fees resulting from fewer listed companies.

Market Technology

Market Technology revenues were $44 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up $8 million, or 22%, when compared to the third quarter of 2009, and up $9 million, or 26%, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenue increases are primarily due to the increased deliveries of market technology contracts. Also contributing to the increases are changes in the exchange rates of various currencies as compared to the U.S. dollar.

Operating Expenses

Total non-GAAP operating expenses increased $7 million, or 4%, to $204 million from $197 million in the third quarter of 2009, but decreased $9 million, or 4%, from $213 million in the prior year quarter. The increase in expenses when compared to the third quarter of 2009 is primarily driven by higher compensation expense and increased marketing and advertising spending. The decrease in expenses from the fourth quarter of 2008 was realized through a reduction in compensation expense and lower general, administrative and other expense. These reductions were driven by successful integration efforts associated with NASDAQ's business combination with OMX and acquisition of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

Net Interest Expense

Net interest expense was $22 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $23 million for the third quarter of 2009 and $28 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Included in interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2009 is $15 million in interest expense, $3 million of non-cash expense associated with accretion of 2.5% convertible notes, $3 million in non-cash debt amortization expenses, and $4 million in other related fees. Interest income for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $3 million.

Earnings Per Share

On a non-GAAP basis, fourth quarter 2009 earnings per diluted share were $0.46 as compared to non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.42 in the third quarter of 2009 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.52 in the prior year quarter. NASDAQ OMX's weighted average shares outstanding used to calculate diluted earnings per share was 215 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with 215 million for the third quarter of 2009 and 214 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.

In June 2009, NASDAQ OMX filed an application for an advance tax ruling with the Swedish Tax Council for Advanced Tax Rulings. The application was filed to confirm whether certain interest expense is deductible for Swedish tax purposes under legislation that became effective on January 1, 2009.  We expect to receive a favorable response from the Swedish Tax Council for Advance Tax Rulings. We recorded the Swedish tax benefit as described above in our condensed consolidated financial statements. In the fourth quarter of 2009, we recorded a tax benefit of $5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share. For the full year of 2009, we recorded a tax benefit of $19 million, or $0.09 per diluted share. We expect to record recurring quarterly tax benefits of $4 million to $5 million with respect to this issue for the foreseeable future.

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