LSE Shares Soar 11% on Quarterly Revenue Increase
First-quarter revenues at the London Stock Exchange rose 8 percent thanks to buoyant information and settlement services, the group said on Wednesday, sending its shares up 11 percent.
But revenue from issuance and trading remained roughly flat amid global financial turmoil and analysts expect the LSE's profit to remain under pressure from new competitors.
Recent European Union legislation has made it easier for rivals to set up and alternative trading venues Turquoise, BATS and NASDAQ OMX's new pan-European market will launch in the next two months.
"In weak market conditions and a changing regulatory landscape, the Exchange has delivered a good performance in the first quarter of the year," the group said in a statement.
"We are well placed to meet the challenges and realize the opportunities ahead," the management added.
LSE shares, which have plummeted 64 percent since January and dropped 7 percent on Tuesday, jumped as much as 11 percent in morning trading on the better-than-expected results.
LSE's revenue rose to 178 million pounds ($351.2 million) in the three months ended June on the back of 19 percent growth in real-time data sales and a 20 percent increase in clearing and settlement revenue.
The exchange operator said that despite tough markets the results highlighted the bourse's well-diversified business.
LSE shares were changing hands, or 9.9 times forward earnings, a 16 percent discount to Deutsche Boerse's 11.8 times.
"The possible impact on LSE trading volumes and necessary pricing response is the most crucial issue impacting the share in our view," wrote Credit Suisse analysts in a research note on Wednesday.
LSE said it remained confident that active equity issuance and demand for real-time data would drive growth.
Rights issues from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Imperial Tobacco and Groupe Eurotunnel contributed to a record issuance volume of 24 billion pounds in May, with total money raised in the first quarter up 82 percent from a year ago.
Secondary issuance generates less revenue for the bourse, however.
The bourse saw the number of real-time data terminals rise to 139,000 at June 30, up 1,000 from March 31 and up 19,000 from a year ago, thanks to strong growth from overseas users.
Post-trade operations such as settlement and custody generated 14.5 percent of total revenue, up from 13 percent a year ago, thanks to higher treasury margins, despite a 9 percent drop in contracts cleared.
During the quarter, the LSE bought back and cancelled 3.2 million of its own shares worth 31 million pounds.
For the reporting period, the total value traded on the London and Milan cash equities markets dropped 8 percent.
The U.K. equities average daily value traded was flat in April and down 11 percent and 8 percent in May and June, respectively.
Italian equities value traded declined 16 percent in April, 13 percent in May and 37 percent in June.