Knight Trading (NITE) said it earned $35.3 million, or 28 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, which was better than analysts expected.

The firm was expected to earn 22 cents a share, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

. In the year-earlier period, the company earned $60.3 million, or 47 cents a share. Revenue fell 11% to $251.3 million from $281.7 million a year earlier. Knight is a market maker, meaning that it trades stocks and at times takes one side of the trade itself to maintain orderly markets.

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"We believe that the market correction kept many self-directed individual investors on the sidelines or in larger cap, defensive stock issues throughout the fourth quarter," Kenneth Pasternak, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "This mix of stocks -- for which Knight posts lower revenue capture per share -- negatively impacted our revenue for the quarter. These pressures were partially overcome by our unique trading methodology and our diverse client base and product offerings, resulting in a solid fourth quarter despite these challenging market conditions."