CME Reports Dismal 4th Quarter Results, Profits Decline 78% YoY

The worlds largest futures exchange reported its earnings for Q4 2012 and unsurprisingly results were in line with trade volumes

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The worlds largest futures exchange reported its earnings for Q4 2012 and unsurprisingly results were in line with trade volumes and the bourse suffered a drop of 78% in profitability. The bourse has been exploring new opportunities to overcome stagnation in the market, it recently launched INR futures and leads the pact in its global instrument offerings.

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CME Group reported revenues of $661 million and operating income of $376 million for the fourth quarter 2012. Net income attributable to CME Group was $167 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.50.

Fourth-quarter 2012 results included a $43.5 million tax expense due to a revaluation of our deferred income tax liabilities as a result of revisions to our state tax apportionment, as well as increases in deferred income tax liabilities associated with S&P Dow Jones Indices. On a non-GAAP basis, fourth-quarter diluted EPS would have been $0.63.1

The CME Group is trading at 59.18 in USA (NASDAQ).

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“Despite facing a difficult environment with low volatility in 2012, we made significant progress in advancing our global strategy while preparing for the changing regulatory landscape,” said CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy. “We will further expand our footprint in Europe with the proposed launch of a new London-based exchange, and we continued to strengthen our position in Asia. As the Dodd-Frank clearing mandate nears implementation in March, we are well positioned to provide clearing services to the OTC market. Throughout 2012 and into this year, we continue to work with regulators and other futures industry participants to strengthen customer protections and ensure the integrity of these critical markets.”

“We are pleased with the trends we have seen so far in 2013, especially in interest rates and energy,” said CME Group Chief Executive Officer Phupinder Gill. “Our interest rate products in January posted the highest monthly volumes since second-quarter 2012, spurred by improving expectations of economic growth and the current rotation from fixed income to equities. Average daily volumes for our energy products are at the best levels in six months, due to improved infrastructure and increased production expectations in the U.S. Also, foreign exchange volatility has risen, and we have seen a corresponding growth in volumes over the past several months. Looking ahead, we will build on this momentum as we continue to globalize the business and position CME Group for success over the long term.”

Fourth-quarter 2012 average daily volume was 10.2 million contracts, down 13 percent from fourth-quarter 2011. This drove a 9 percent decrease in clearing and transaction fee revenues to $545 million. Fourth-quarter total average rate per contract was $0.83, up 2 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011.

Fourth-quarter 2012 operating expense was $285 million and operating margin was 57 percent. Operating margin is defined as operating income as a percentage of total revenues. During the fourth quarter, the effective tax rate was 40.1 percent1, excluding the tax expense discussed earlier.

As of December 31, the company had $1.7 billion of cash and marketable securities and $2.9 billion of debt. The company paid dividends totaling $1.2 billion dollars during 2012, with $581 million of that total in the fourth quarter alone. A first-quarter 2013 dividend of $0.45 per share, payable March 25, 2013, to shareholders of record March 8, 2013, was just announced on January 30.

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