NYSE-owner ICE profit rises on high trading volume

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(Reuters) -New York Stock Exchange-owner Intercontinental Exchange posted a rise in first-quarter profit on Thursday, driven by higher trading volumes in several asset classes as interest hike expectations and the Ukraine war raised market volatility.

Demand for portfolio protection grew as sky-high inflation, the Russia-Ukraine war and expectations of interest rate hikes roiled markets.

The exchange operator said on Wednesday it planned to acquire Black Knight in a cash-and-stock deal that values the software and data analytics firm at $16 billion, including debt.

Intercontinental Exchange’s first quarter performance follows strong earnings by rivals CBOE Global Markets Inc and CME Group Inc that sailed past Wall Street estimates as elevated volatility drove up transaction volumes of options and futures.

Net income attributable to the company was up nearly 2% at $657 million, or $1.16 per share, for the three months ended March 31 from $646 million, or $1.14 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, ICE, which runs futures and equities exchanges as well as clearing houses, data services and a mortgage origination business, earned $1.43 per share, edging past analysts’ mean estimate of $1.42 a share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Total revenue, excluding transaction-based expenses, rose nearly 6% to $1.9 billion, as revenue from exchanges business rose 2%, fixed income and data services rose 8.7% while mortgage tech arm fell 13.5%.

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)