Virtu Financial Inc's ( VIRT Quick Quote VIRT - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2020 earnings per share of $1.18 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 81 cents by 45.7%. Moreover, the bottom line skyrocketed 337% year over year on the back of reduced costs and higher revenues. Operating revenues of $456 million too increased 77.4% year over year, driven by a gain on the sale of MATCHNow as well as heightened levels of volatility, bid-ask spreads and trading volumes across global markets and asset classes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the top line beat the consensus mark by 27.4%. Quarterly Operational Update
Adjusted trading income of the company surged 77.3% to $455.9 million year over year.
In the quarter under review, adjusted EBITDA jumped 200.1% to $343.9 million. Total operating expenses dipped 2.3% year over year to $417 million. This was on the back of employee compensation and payroll taxes, interest and dividends expense, operations and administrative costs, debt issue cost related to debt refinancing, prepayment and commitment fees, and transaction advisory fees and expenses, etc. Segmental Update
Adjusted net trading income from the Marketing Making segment rose 112% year over year to $320.8 million in the quarter under review. In this segment, adjusted net trading income from Global Equities soared 122.3% year over year to $427.9 million while the same from Global FICC, Options and Other climbed 7% year over year to $38 million.
Adjusted net trading income from Execution Services came in at $39.5 million, comparing favorably with the year-ago quarter’s figure of $0.6 million. Dividend and Share Repurchase Update
The company's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 24 cents per share to be paid out on Mar 15, 2020 to its shareholders of record as of Mar 1.
The board members also approved a $100-million share buyback plan comprising Class A common stock and common units of Virtu Financial LLC through Dec 31, 2021. Further, the board sanctioned the enhancement of the share buyback plan by increasing the total amount authorized by $70 million to $170 million in January 2021. Financial Update
As of Dec 31, 2020, the company had total assets worth $10 billion, up 4.9% from the level at 2019 end.
It exited the fourth quarter with total equity of $1.8 billion, up 50.9% from the level on Dec 31, 2019. The company exited the fourth quarter with $889.5 million of cash and cash equivalents, up 21.5% from the 2019-end level. In the quarter under review, long-term borrowings dropped 14.5% to $1.6 billion from the level at 2019 end. Full-Year Update
Total revenues for the year stood at $3.2 billion, up 113.5% year over year.
Adjusted net trading income of the company shot up 133% year over year to $2.2 billion. Adjusted EPS for 2020 was $5.16 against the 2019 loss of 53 cents per share. Zacks Rank and Performance of Other Players Virtu Financial currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Among other stocks in the same space that already reported fourth-quarter earnings, the bottom-line results of Mastercard Incorporated ( MA Quick Quote MA - Free Report) , American Express Co. ( AXP Quick Quote AXP - Free Report) , and Discover Financial Services ( DFS Quick Quote DFS - Free Report) surpassed their respective estimates. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021
In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 best buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2021?
Last year's 2020 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +386.8%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buys. Access Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021 today >>