* Earnings per share of $2.03 excluding items beat estimates
by 6 cents
* Lower natural gas trading volumes contribute to the drop
* Shares up 1 percent
(Adds details on natural gas trading revenues; adds share
price, analyst's comment)
May 1 IntercontinentalExchange Inc,
which is buying NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion, reported
an 8 percent drop in first-quarter profit, citing acquisition
costs and lower North American natural gas trading volumes.
The Atlanta-based derivatives exchange and clearinghouse
operator said on Wednesday that net income fell to $135.4
million, or $1.85 a share, from $147.9 million, or $2.02 a
share, a year earlier.
Excluding costs involving the NYSE deal and other one-time
items, earnings were $2.03 per share. That beat the analysts'
average estimate by 6 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
Slightly higher-than-expected revenue and
lower-than-anticipated expenses, along with a favorable tax
rate, helped ICE beat earnings estimates, UBS analyst Alex Kramm
said in a note to clients.
Shares of ICE were up 1 percent at $164.49 shortly after the
Revenue fell 4 percent to $351.9 million. North American
natural gas revenue dropped 28 percent on a similar-sized
decrease in trading volumes.
Transaction and clearing fee revenue fell 7 percent to
$299.7 million. Futures average daily volume declined 4 percent
to 3.6 million contracts, with revenue from ICE's credit default
swap trade execution, processing and clearing business down 16
percent to $33 million.
Market data revenue rose 12 percent to $40.9 million, and
other consolidated revenues were $11.3 million.
Operating expenses were up 8 percent at $151.8 million.
The company said in December that it planned to buy New York
Stock Exchange operator NYSE in a deal that will give ICE
control of Liffe, Europe's second-largest derivatives market, to
help expand into the interest rate futures business.
ICE said it expected acquisition expenses from the
transaction to be in the range of $10 million to $12 million in
the second quarter.
NYSE said on Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose 44
percent from a year earlier, due largely to an increase in
European derivatives trading volumes and lower costs.
(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick,
Jeffrey Benkoe and Lisa Von Ahn)