CBOE advances most in 14 months after profits beat estimates

CBOE Holdings Inc., the biggest U.S. options market by volume, rallied the most in 14 months after first-quarter profit beat analyst projections amid growth in its volatility and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index products.

The stock jumped 4.2% to a record $39.07 at 10:57 a.m. in New York today. Net income increased 27% to $41.8 million, the Chicago-based company said today in a statement. Earnings excluding some items were 50 cents a share, exceeding the 47-cent average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg whose estimates ranged from 49 cents to 45 cents.

“We posted strong first-quarter results driven by the strength of our proprietary products,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Brodsky said on a conference call with analysts today. “The most recent surge in VIX futures trading appears to be the result of new users in the form of hedge funds and proprietary trading firms.”

The company said it is postponing extended trading hours for futures linked to its volatility index, known as the VIX, following an April 25 system failure that shut down the Chicago Board Options Exchange for three-and-a-half hours. Brodsky didn’t announce a new date for the expanded trading hours, saying the exchange will implement them “when comfortable.”

Trading Hours

“We are in the process of retaining an independent systems consultant to thoroughly evaluate the roll-out procedures of our extended trading hours initiative,” said Brodsky, who is stepping down as CEO later this month when Ed Tilly takes over.

The futures exchange had planned to almost double trading hours for contracts linked to the VIX by June as part of a move toward around-the-clock market access.

CBOE shares have risen 32% in 2013. The Bloomberg World Exchanges Index, which includes the company and 25 of its peers, is up 14% this year.

Options volume has rebounded this year as investors use contracts to protect gains after a 13% rally in the S&P 500 this year. Trading has risen to a daily average of 16.6 million from 15.9 million last year, data from the Chicago-based OCC show.

CBOE is the exclusive venue for options based on the volatility measure and the S&P 500 Index. Volume of VIX options has climbed to a daily average of more than 610,000 this year, a 37% increase from 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Almost 810,000 S&P 500 options traded each day in 2013 on average, up 15% from last year.

NYSE Euronext, the U.S. exchange operator being bought by IntercontinentalExchange Inc., and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. have reported first-quarter profit that met or topped analyst estimates amid cost cuts and climbing revenue.

Bloomberg News

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