Nasdaq upbeat as declares its first dividend

City A.M. Reporter
NASDAQ OMX declared its first quarterly dividend yesterday, but said first-quarter net earnings declined due in part to lower US trading volumes for stocks and derivatives.

The exchange operator said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 13 cents a share, a two per cent yield, reflecting its strong cash flow and capital generation. It also said it would continue to repurchase shares.

“It is a material dividend, but it is relatively conservative,” said Ed Ditmire, an analyst at Macquarie. “It’s the lowest payout ratio of any dividend-paying exchange, so that means it’ll have plenty of room to raise it in years to come.”

The Nasdaq Stock Market parent said it earned $85m (£53m), or 48 cents a share, in the first quarter, down from $104m, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.

Stripping out an impairment charge and expenses for restructuring and strategic initiatives, Nasdaq said it had earned 61 cents a share, on par with a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected the New York-based company to earn 63 cents a share.

Revenue at Nasdaq fell to $411m from $413m . Analysts expected $418.6m.