August 2, 2019 / 11:53 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 2-Exchange operator Cboe plans new data platform as profits rise

(Adds details on new data platform, CEO comments from conference call)

By John McCrank and Abhishek Manikandan

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Cboe Global Markets Inc plans to build a research and data platform that will provide its customers with trading insights and spur new financial products, the exchange operator said after posting better-than-expected earnings on Friday.

Cboe, which has operations in the United States and Europe, and runs stock, options, currency and futures exchanges, said the new platform would include raw market data and derived data from its existing products.

The platform is still in early stages but will eventually "help fuel the long-term growth" of Cboe, Chief Executive Officer Ed Tilly said on a conference call with analysts.

"This is a very exciting project for our team and one that leverages unique Cboe strengths, technology, research and development to provide tailored trading strategies for our customers and to inform the creation of new Cboe proprietary products," he said.

Exchanges have increasingly been leveraging trading data to create new products, such as indices and pricing tools, as well as selling raw data for back-testing algorithms, giving them steady streams of revenue that are less dependent on market volatility than trading revenue.

The growing importance of data to exchanges was highlighted on Thursday, when the London Stock Exchange Group formally announced a $27 billion deal to buy Refinitiv, the financial data provider recently spun out by Reuters' parent company, Thomson Reuters.

Chicago-based Cboe's proprietary products, such as the VIX volatility index - known as Wall Street's fear gauge - and S&P 500 options, generate a substantial portion of the company's profits.

The company said its net income rose to $87.6 million, or 78 cents a share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $82.4 million, or 73 cents, a year earlier, primarily driven by higher trading volume in proprietary products.

Stripping out one-time items like acquisition-related expenses, Cboe earned $1.13 per share, beating the mean estimate of analysts by six cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net revenue fell marginally to $283.2 million, due in part to a drop in market share in U.S. equities to 15.7% in the quarter, from 18.9% a year earlier. (Reporting by John McCrank in New York and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Bernadette Baum)

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