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Analyst Blog

Yesterday, NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ - Analyst Report) introduced a multi-index platform with multiple asset-classes known as NASDAQ Global Index Family. This new platform will be developing as much as 24,000 benchmark indices, thereby accounting for more than 98% of the global equity investment market.

Accordingly, NASDAQ has immediately initiated about 4,000 indexes calculated in US dollars, while the remaining will be phased out over time in varied currencies. The NASDAQ Global Index Family is designed to cover approximately 9,000 securities that represent a cumulative float-adjusted market capitalization of more than $32 trillion.

Moreover, the global securities on the NASDAQ Global Index Family are diversified into their respective market segment, region, country, size and sector. Subsequently, the company’s new index platform will have equity indexes across the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle East-Africa.

Additionally, NASDAQ has enhanced the performance of the global index family products through a transparent, high-tech and efficient operational structure along with its 10-year historical data. Hence, such a vivid index offering will not only provide NASDAQ with ample scope for new business growth, but it will also help it maintain competitive edge in the global equity space.

Over the last couple of years, NASDAQ has been vigorously focusing on amplifying its business profile through expansion into international markets in an attempt to counter the competitive forces and gain dynamism. The company’s strategic efforts to enhance fraying market position are also crucial since the recent reforms in the US has led arch-rivals in the derivative and equity spaces such as NYSE Euronext Inc. and CME Group Inc. (CME - Analyst Report), to seek greener pastures in the emerging and rapidly developing economies. This leaves no reason for NASDAQ to lag behind the market moves.

Earnings Review

In October this year, NASDAQ reported third-quarter 2012 operating earnings per share of 62 cents, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents. However, it fell shy of the prior-year quarter’s earnings, of 67 cents, by a nickel. The year-over-year decline was primarily attributable to reduced top line, which lay marred by significantly weak trading volumes across businesses and unfavorable impact from foreign exchange.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimate pegs NASDAQ earnings at 62 cents per share, down about 1% over the prior-year quarter. For 2012, earnings are expected to decline by around 2% over 2011 to $2.49 per share. Over the last 30 days, 3 of the 13 analysts have reduced their estimates downwards, while no upward revision was witnessed.

NASDAQ carries a Zacks Rank #3 that implies a short-term Hold rating, while the long-term recommendation stands at Neutral.

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