Nasdaq quarterly profit soars on record trading volumes

The Nasdaq logo is displayed at the Nasdaq Market site in New York

Transatlantic exchange operator Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) on Wednesday reported a 38.5% rise in quarterly profit as more people took to trading from home while under lockdown, with pandemic-driven market volatility also boosting volumes to record levels.

Trading in technology stocks, which were relatively insulated from coronavirus-led business curbs, soared during the quarter as more people under lockdown bought these stocks. Volumes were also boosted by the recent move by retail brokerages to offer commission-free trading.

Nasdaq benefits from trades on its exchange and when assets linked to its indexes rise.

Revenue at Nasdaq’s market services unit, which accounted for 40% of the total revenue, rose 22% to $276 million. The unit oversees transactions, clearing and settlements.

The company also narrowed its forecast for adjusted operating expenses for 2020 to between $1.33 billion and $1.36 billion, from an earlier range between $1.32 billion and $1.37 billion.

Net income attributable to Nasdaq rose to $241 million, or $1.45 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $174 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue, excluding transaction-based expenses, rose 12% to $699 million.

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