NYSE-owner ICE beats estimates on strength in data services

A screen displays the logo and ticker symbol for Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Intercontinental Exchange Inc ICE.N, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as a rise in its market data services unit eclipsed sluggish growth in its transaction and clearing business.

U.S. exchanges have been diversifying their revenue stream by focusing on market data services and pivoting away from their core trading and clearing businesses, which are at the mercy of market volatility swings.

ICE said revenue from its data services unit, which publishes daily indexes and historical price data, rose 2.3 percent to $530 million in the third quarter.

Revenue from the transaction and clearing unit, the company’s biggest business, rose marginally to $760 million.

The company also authorized a $2 billion share repurchase, effective Jan. 1.

Net income attributable to the company rose 23.5 percent to $458 million, or 79 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Total revenue, excluding transaction-based expenses, increased 4.7 percent to $1.2 billion.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 85 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 80 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel