Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) Shares Gap Up Following Strong Earnings

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE) shares gapped up before the market opened on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at ($68.99), but opened at $0.00. Intercontinental Exchange shares last traded at $0.00, with a volume of 5538158 shares.

The financial services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.14 billion. Intercontinental Exchange had a return on equity of 10.80% and a net margin of 27.56%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.64 earnings per share.

Intercontinental Exchange declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, November 2nd that allows the company to buyback $1.20 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 3.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ICE shares. BidaskClub downgraded Intercontinental Exchange from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Intercontinental Exchange in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $67.00 price target on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Intercontinental Exchange from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $65.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Intercontinental Exchange from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Intercontinental Exchange in a report on Monday, July 17th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $72.33.

In other news, CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher sold 80,420 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.24, for a total value of $5,246,600.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Charles A. Vice sold 12,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.32, for a total value of $804,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 382,471 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,600,534.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 143,050 shares of company stock valued at $9,557,830. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ICE. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd bought a new position in Intercontinental Exchange in the 1st quarter worth $297,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new position in Intercontinental Exchange in the 1st quarter worth $297,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Intercontinental Exchange by 16.4% in the 1st quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 4,694 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $281,000 after buying an additional 663 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its holdings in Intercontinental Exchange by 121.7% in the 1st quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 29,476 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,765,000 after buying an additional 16,181 shares during the period. Finally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ bought a new position in shares of Intercontinental Exchange during the 1st quarter valued at about $5,859,000. 89.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Intercontinental Exchange Company Profile

Intercontinental Exchange Inc, formerly IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc, is a network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets. The Company delivers transparent and accessible data, technology and risk management services to markets around the world through its portfolio of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, ICE Futures, Liffe and Euronext.

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