NYSE Group Swings to a Profit

The stock-exchange company reversed a year-earlier loss amid moves to expand its operations

NYSE Group (NYX), parent of the New York Stock Exchange, said Feb. 2 that it managed to swing to a profit in the fourth quarter of 2006 from a year-earlier loss. The financial marketplace is barreling ahead in its effort to transform itself into a global powerhouse through acquisitions.

The NYSE reported net income of $45.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2006, compared to a $20.3 million loss during the same period of 2005. "We have executed against an ambitious set of objectives and positioned NYSE Group for long-term growth while delivering substantial shareholder value," CFO Nelson Chai said in a press release Feb. 2. Excluding one time items like merger-related costs, the NYSE's net income would have amounted to $70.8 million during the quarter.

The company recorded year-over-year increases in average daily volumes across all categories of securities, including handled volume increases of 4.7% in NYSE-listed issues, 13.8% in NYSE Arca and Amex-listed issues, 24.6% in Nasdaq-listed issues, 27.3% in ETFs, and 29.1% in equity options contracts.

The NYSE has spent -- or is planning to spend -- billions on buying up heavyweights all over the world, including the March. 2006 purchase of Chicago-based all-electronic Archipelago Exchange and a pending deal to acquire the European stock exchange Euronext. In recent weeks the NYSE also announced a strategic alliance with the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the purchase of a 5% stake in India's leading marketplace, the Mumbai-based National Stock Exchange.

The mean analyst forecast had been for NYSE earnings 46 cents per share during the quarter, according to the San Francisco research firm StarMine, which aggregates data from Thomson Financial. The company actually earned 45 cents per share. Investors sold the stock 0.3% to $101.41 in early afternoon trading on Feb. 2.

Joe Weber contributed to this report

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