NASDAQ OMX expands agreement with Morningstar to provide comprehensive equity research coverage on NASDAQ-listed companies

NASDAQ OMX expands agreement with Morningstar to provide comprehensive equity research coverage on NASDAQ-listed companies

11/01/10

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ), the world's largest exchange company, is expanding its previously announced agreement with Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, to provide comprehensive analyst research reports on NASDAQ-listed companies. In June 2009, NASDAQ OMX and Morningstar entered into an exclusive agreement for Morningstar to provide basic equity research profile reports on all NASDAQ-listed companies.

Now, qualified companies have the option to contract with NASDAQ OMX for a full Morningstar analyst research report. Some of the companies that have contracted with NASDAQ OMX for a full research report thus far include: Famous Dave's of America (Nasdaq:DAVE), Athersys (Nasdaq:ATHX), Integrated Silicon Solution (Nasdaq:ISSI), Life Partners Holdings (Nasdaq:LPHI), PLX Technology (Nasdaq:PLXT), Synalloy Corporation (Nasdaq:SYNL), QCR Holdings (Nasdaq:QCRH), TOP Ships (Nasdaq:TOPS), IRIDEX (Nasdaq:IRIX), and DRI Corporation (Nasdaq:TBUS).

"For the past six months we've been providing our listed companies with basic profile reports from Morningstar, and we've received a great response. The profile reports have helped fill a void for under-covered companies. Based on customer demand and industry dynamics, we want to offer full Morningstar analyst research reports," said Bruce Aust, executive vice president of NASDAQ OMX. "This second phase of our collaboration with Morningstar reinforces our ongoing commitment to providing investors and issuers with transparency, valuable services and access to important market information."

"Many companies, particularly small- and mid-cap firms, have seen their research coverage shrink or disappear altogether. This information gap makes it challenging for investors to conduct timely due diligence," said Catherine Odelbo, president of equity research for Morningstar, Inc. "NASDAQ OMX selected Morningstar because of our analyst expertise and our track record of providing objective, credible, and comprehensive research across industry groups. By working with NASDAQ OMX, we can fulfill our mission of helping investors and NASDAQ OMX can broaden its offerings and fill a need in the market for research on under-covered companies."

"Solid independent research is critical to a company's ability to attract and retain investors, improve liquidity in trading, and lower a company's cost of capital," said Diana Purcel, chief financial officer of Famous Dave's of America. "We believe that NASDAQ's innovative approach in offering Morningstar research will help accomplish these goals."

NASDAQ OMX began offering Morningstar's basic profile reports at no cost to the issuer in the third quarter of 2009 for both NASDAQ- and Nordic-listed companies. The profile report includes a lengthy company profile, comprehensive data about the company and its industry, and industry context written by a Morningstar analyst. As part of the expanded service offered by NASDAQ OMX, companies may contract with NASDAQ OMX for Morningstar's institutional analyst research report. NASDAQ will serve as the intermediary and will pay Morningstar a fee for the service. The service will include a comprehensive initiation report and a minimum of three quarterly updates. Morningstar's institutional equity analyst reports provide thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis, including an investment thesis and discussions about valuation, management, risks, and competitive advantage. It also includes the Morningstar Rating(TM) for Stocks, a Fair Value Estimate, Consider Buying and Consider Selling prices, Uncertainty Rating, Economic Moat(TM) Rating, and full pro-forma analyst forecasts.

Issuers may not review the content of Morningstar's analyst research or ratings prior to publication. The reports will include disclosure noting that the listed company has commissioned the exchange for the research.

Morningstar's full analyst reports will be available on Morningstar.com; Morningstar Advisor Workstation, its Web-based investment research platform for financial advisors; Morningstar Direct, its Web-based investment research platform for institutions; Nasdaq.com; and NASDAQ OMX's Web site, Nasdaq Online. An institutional version of the report will be available to institutional investors through Morningstar's Select Equity Research service and selected third-party research portals.