Amid a debate over whether the U.S. markets are in the trance of another tech bubble, there is at least one major difference: the Nasdaq isn’t the only game in town for the industry’s hottest listings. Last time around, when companies like Amazon.com and eBay, along with less successful businesses like Pets.com and Webvan, were going public in the late '90s, virtually all of them opted for the all-electronic exchange.
This time around, with social media the buzzword, the New York Stock Exchange has made it a two-horse race, a fact that Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer highlighted in the firm’s second-quarter earnings report Tuesday.
“Our solid results in the second quarter reflect our focus on revenue diversification, disciplined cost management and balance sheet strength,” Niederauer said. “We were the global leader in IPOs for the second consecutive quarter, with a growing share of technology IPOs selecting NYSE.” Those offerings included the listing of business-focused social network LinkedIn in May, followed by online streaming radio service Pandora and personal finance network Bankrate in June. (NYSE and Nasdaq are also competing for the forthcoming IPO from daily deals site Groupon.)
Those IPOs were among the highlights in a quarter that fell short of last year’s results but still managed to top the Street’s consensus forecast. NYSE Euronext booked earnings of 61 cents per share, down from 64 cents in 2010, but above 60 cent estimate. Revenue of $661 million was ahead of the $653 million consensus. (Read the report here.)
Results in the derivatives business were slightly down (revenue 6% lower at $213 million), while cash trading and listings revenue was up a hair (revenue 2% higher to $327 million thanks to currency fluctuations). The biggest gain came in information services and technology solutions, as the unite raked in $122 million in revenue during the second quarter (up 14% from 2010).
Niederauer thanked shareholders for signing off on the company's merger with Deutsche Boerse, and said on the conference call he expects EU regulators to complete the second phase of reviewing the deal this week, though he wouldn't speculate on the outcome, according to TradeTheNews.com. (See "NYSE Merger Wins Shareholder Approval.")
Shares of NYSE Euronext lost 2.1% following the earnings. Rival Nasdaq OMX, which made a joint rival bid for the company with IntercontinentalExchange that was scuttled by a lack of regulatory support, fell 1.5%.