The Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ) Thursday saw its shares edge lower as it reported fourth-quarter profits and revenues topped expectations as non-transaction based revenues grew, but trading volumes fell.
Total U.S. equity average daily volume in the last quarter dropped 18 per cent to 6.09 billion shares, the company said, while U.S. options trading volume fell eight per cent.
Shares of the corporation were down 1.57 per cent at about 10 a.m. EDT, trading at $27.53.
For the three months that ended December 31, the company that owns the Nasdaq Exchange posted earnings of $85 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, up four per cent from $82 million or 45 cents per diluted share a year earlier.
Adjusted for one-time items, earnings rose to 64 cents per share.
Revenues were $419 million, down slightly from $420 million in the same period last year.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had called for per share earnings of 61 cents on revenue of $412 million.
“Nasdaq OMX ended 2012 with a strong finish to the year, driven by a significant pick-up in corporate activity coupled with solid performance in our U.S. options, U.S. proprietary data products and global index businesses," said CEO Bob Greifeld.
"While the volume environment remained weak in the fourth quarter, we continued to expand our diversified, global portfolio of businesses, increasing our stream of recurring revenues, generating strong cash flows and delivering attractive returns for our shareholders."
Nasdaq said that non-transaction based revenues made up 71 per cent of fourth quarter revenue, tied for the highest level in its history.
The market services unit, which makes up 64 per cent of total revenues, reported revenue of $270 million, down four per cent from a year earlier.
Cash equities, which comprises 11 per cent of total revenues, fell 20 per cent year-over-year to $47 million on lower trading volumes and a slightly lower market share.
Derivatives, which make up 18 per cent of total revenues, saw a two per cent rise in revenue of $75 million.
Access and broker services, which accounts for 15 per cent of total revenues, brought in $65 million, up six per cent, while market data revenues fell four per cent to $83 million. Market data revenue accounts for 20 per cent of total revenue.
Meanwhile issuer services sales, which makes up 24 per cent of total revenues, increased 10 per cent and market technology sales, which comprises 12 per cent of total revenues, was flat year-over-year.
At December 31, the company had cash and equivalents of $497 million and total debt of $1.97 billion, resulting in net debt of $1.47 billion.
During the fourth quarter Nasdaq said it bought back 2.1 million shares for a total of $50 million.
For the full year of 2013, the company expects core operating expenses to be in the range of $910 to $930 million, with an additional $50 to $60 million in incremental new initiative spending, resulting in total operating expenses in the range of $960 to $990 million.