Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the US-based operator of regulated trading platforms for commodity and financial markets, reported multiple records in oil and natural gas futures trading as well as in its corporate earnings, giving it the “strongest quarter in the company’s history.”
ICE reported record revenues as daily volumes trading in energy futures and options surged during March in contracts such as the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil, North Sea Brent and natural gas.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based company recorded multiple records across the crude oil, natural gas and fuel product futures markets.
These derivatives are purchased and sold by parties such traders, oil and gas companies and utilities as hedges against rises and falls in physical resource prices.
Platform operator ICE reported that there were record futures and options trading across all types of financial derivatives.
Futures and options trading in the first quarter was up 45 percent year-on-year, driven by record volumes across all asset classes with average daily volume (ADV) records broken and energy trading up 54 percent, agri and metals up 31 percent and interest-rates instruments 28 percent higher.
The high volumes continued into April with energy open interest (OI) contracts still 23 percent higher versus 2019, including Brent crude up 27 percent, natural gas up 28 percent and other crude and refined products up 33 percent.
Despite the turmoil, ICE said that the New York Stock Exchange listed 15 initial public offerings during the first quarter, helping its customers raise over $7 billion in IPO proceeds.
For the quarter ended March 31, ICE said its consolidated net income was $650 million on $1.6 billion of revenues, less transaction-based expenses.
The revenues were 23 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2019.
“Amidst these highly uncertain times, we are grateful for both our customers’ business and their trust,” said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, ICE Chairman and Chief Executive.
“The dedication of our employees and our focus on leading technology is what provides the foundation for our global markets to operate smoothly in times of stress,” added the CEO.
“This combination enabled us to generate the strongest quarter in our company’s history, reporting record revenues and double-digit earnings per share growth,” explained Sprecher.
“As we look to the balance of the year, our focus remains on the safety of our employees, while also continuing to ensure that our markets, clearinghouses and related data services perform to the highest possible standards,” stated Specher.
Scott A. Hill, ICE Chief Financial Officer, said that in the first quarter the company recorded mutiple records, which enabled the firm to return over $850 to stockholders through its dividend and stock buyback program.
ICE’s data and listings revenues in the quarter were $676M and trading and clearing net revenues were $883M.
“This performance also enabled us to continue to invest in our business, ensuring we can continue to provide our customers with critical risk management tools while also creating value for our stockholders,” stated Hill.