CME Group reports higher 4th-qtr profit as trading volume rises

CHICAGO Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:35am EST

CHICAGO Feb 4 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc reported higher quarterly earnings on Tuesday as the exchange operator's average daily trading volume rose 11 percent from a year earlier.

Earnings still fell short of analysts' expectations amid a drop in the average fee per contract.

Net profit in the fourth quarter rose to $193.1 million, or 58 cents a share, from $166.8 million a year earlier, or 50 cents a share. Adjusted earnings were 64 cents a share. Analysts expected 68 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased to $687 million from $660.9 million.

The average daily volume at CME was 11.3 million contracts, up 11 percent from a year earlier, according to company data. The increase was led by a 29 percent jump in interest rate volume, to an average of 5.274 million contracts a day. However, the average fee per contract during the quarter was 78 cents, down from 83.1 cents a year earlier, according to CME.

"The new year is off to a good start, with increased volatility in interest rate, equity, and energy markets resulting in an increase of 13 percent in average daily volume in January," Chief Executive Phupinder Gill said. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)