CME 1Q profit soars but misses Wall Street's estimates
AP Business Writer
Financial exchanges operator CME Group Inc. said Tuesday its profit more than doubled in the first quarter as volume increased by a third, but it fell short of expectations and its stock sank.
The operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade earned $284 million, or $5.25 per share, compared with $130 million, or $3.69 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding a number of charges and a tax benefit, CME said earnings were $4.67 per share, compared with the $4.80 per-share consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
Revenue was $625 million, nearly doubled from $332 million in the first quarter of 2007.
The largest U.S. futures exchange operator has benefited from volatility of the shaken capital markets. As investors shift positions, the exchange takes a fee for each move.
Average daily volumes rose sharply in each month during the period compared with a year ago, leading to a 32 percent gain in the full quarter.
"During what was a challenging environment for many financial services companies, CME Group achieved volume growth of 32 percent in the first quarter, reflecting strength from all product areas," said CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy.
Analysts say exchange operators face headwinds in the coming periods, however, with volume growth likely slowing as market volatility decreases.
CME said the results included only CME operations and not CBOT results. Their merger was completed last year.
Shares in the company fell $33.94, or 6.5 percent, to $489.56 in morning trading.
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