Bats Profit From Forex Quadrupled in First Post-IPO Earnings

  • Options business profits more than doubled from year earlier
  • Bats debuted its shares on one of its own exchanges last month

Bats Global Markets Inc., the exchange operator that went public last month, more than quadrupled earnings from its currency business, following its acquisition of Hotspot FX last year.

The Lenexa, Kansas-based company earned $10.4 million from its currencies business in the three months ended March 31, an increase of more than 300 percent from the same period a year ago, according to its first earnings release as a public company on Thursday. Bats’s U.S. options business brought in $10 million in net income in the period, a 122 percent increase from a year earlier, the company said.

Bats made a major push into currencies, the world’s largest asset class, by purchasing Hotspot FX trading platform from KCG Holdings Inc. last year. The deal was just one of the ways Bats has grown up, diversified and expanded its market share since it originally attempted a public offering of its shares in 2012. 

Chief Executive Officer Chris Concannon said that global foreign-exchange trading would remain an area of focus.

"Growth at Hotspot must accelerate to meet our own very high standards," Concannon said in prepared remarks on a conference call following the release. "While overall FX market volumes have fallen more recently, we certainly have room to improve Hotspot’s position in the FX market as a low-cost disruptor."

Bats reported adjusted earnings of 37 cents per share for the first quarter. The company is the second-largest operator of U.S. stock exchanges, after NYSE Group Inc., and the largest stock-exchange operator in Europe.

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