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CME Group (CME) Q4 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

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CME Group Inc. (CME - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $1.39, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3%. The bottom line decreased 8.6% year over year due to lower clearing and transaction fees and market data and information services. Average daily volume decreased in three out of the six products lines.

Nonetheless, the company witnessed strong, double-digit, year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter across its Equity Index and Agricultural businesses.

Performance in Detail

CME Group’s revenues of $1.1 billion decreased 3.5% year over year. The year-over-year decrease was primarily due to lower clearing and transaction fees (down 6.4% year over year) and market data and information services (down 3.5% year over year). The top line however beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.3%.

Total expenses increased 3.2% year over year to $583.5 million during the reported quarter, attributable to higher professional fees and outside services and licensing and other fee agreements

Operating income decreased 10.1% from the prior-year quarter to $515 million.

Average daily volume decreased 3.8% year over year to 16.2 million contracts in the quarter. Average rate per contract decreased 2.5%.

CME Group Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Full-Year Highlights

Adjusted earnings of $6.72 per share declined 1.2% year over year but topped the consensus estimate of $6.69.

Operating revenues of $4.9 billion for 2020 increased 0.3% year over year and marginally beat the consensus estimate.

The company achieved record international volume during 2020.

Financial Update

As of Dec 31, 2020, CME Group had $1.6 billion of cash and marketable securities, up 5.3% from 2019 end. As of Dec 31, 2019, long-term debt of $3.4 billion decreased 8% from 2019 end.

As of Dec 31, 2020, the company had total equity worth $26.3 billion, up 0.7% from 2019 end.

Capital Deployment

CME Group has returned about $15.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends since the implementation of the variable dividend policy in early 2012.

Zacks Rank

CME Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Securities Exchange Industry Players

Fourth-quarter earnings of Nasdaq (NDAQ - Free Report) , Intercontinental Exchange (ICE - Free Report) and MarketAxess Holdings (MKTX - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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