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Why Is Nasdaq (NDAQ) Up 10.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Nasdaq (NDAQ - Free Report) . Shares have added about 10.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Nasdaq due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Nasdaq Beats on Q2 Earnings, Tightens Expense View

Nasdaq, Inc. reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of $2.07, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.91 by 8.4%. The bottom line improved 8.9% year over year. The improvement was mainly driven by solid results in both segments.

Performance in Detail

Nasdaq’s revenues of $893 million increased 5.6% year over year. The upside can primarily be attributed to a $76 million impact of organic growth, partially offset by a $19 million decrease from the impact of changes in FX rates and a $10 million decrease due to the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.1%.

Adjusted operating expenses were $428 million, up 5% from the year-ago period. The increase was due to an organic increase of 11% from the prior-year period, partially offset by a $17 million decrease from the impact of changes in FX rates and a $4 million decrease from the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures.
The operating margin of 54% was flat year over year.

The Nasdaq stock market welcomed 84 new company listings in the second quarter of 2022, including 38 IPOs. The number of listed companies was 4,269 at quarter end.

Segment Details

Net revenues at Market Services were up 1% from the year-ago quarter to $310 million, driven by a 4% positive impact from organic growth, partially offset by a $9 million decrease from the impact of changes in FX rates.

Revenues at the Solutions segments increased 10% year over year to $582 million, driven by a 12% positive impact of organic growth, partially offset by a $10 million decrease due to the impact of changes in FX rates.

Financial Update

Nasdaq had cash and cash equivalents of $484 million as of Jun 30, 2022, up 14.7% from the 2021-end level. Long-term debt decreased 2.4% from the 2021-end level to $4.8 billion as of Jun 30, 2022. Stockholder’s equity decreased 8.6% from 2021 end to $5.8 billion as of Jun 30, 2022.

Capital Deployment

NDAQ bought back shares worth $166 million in the second quarter of 2022, including the completion of a share repurchase program to offset dilution related to the divestiture of its U.S. Fixed Income business. As of Jun 30, 2022, $293 million remained under the board-authorized share repurchase program.

In the first half of 2022, NDAQ returned $819 million to shareholders, including $633 million in share repurchases and $186 million in dividends.

The board approved a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share. On a split-adjusted basis, the dividend is economically equivalent to the pre-split quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share paid in the preceding quarter. The dividend will be paid out on Sep 30, 2022 to shareholders of record on Sep 16, 2022.

Guidance

Nasdaq expects 2022 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.71 billion to $1.74 billion, narrowed from the prior expectation of $1.70 billion to $1.76 billion.
NDAQ forecasts non-GAAP tax rate in the range of 24% to 26% in 2022.

Stock Split

The board of directors announced a three-for-one stock split in the form of a stock dividend, effective Aug 29, 2022.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended upward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Nasdaq has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a C. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Nasdaq has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.


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