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Nasdaq Net Jumps Despite Weak Volumes

The exchange operator reported a sharp climb in third-quarter earnings, above Wall Street expectations, despite weaker trading volumes.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Nasdaq OMX Group

I:IXIC

reported a sharp climb in third-quarter earnings Friday, above Wall Street expectations, despite weaker trading volumes.

The exchange operator earned $101 million, or 50 cents a share, up 68% from $60 million, or 28 cents, in the year-earlier period. Net exchange revenue climbed 7% to $372 million from $349 million during the third quarter of 2009.

Analysts, on average, had expected the company to earn 46 cents a share on revenue of $370 million, according to

Thomson-Reuters

.

Volumes for equities, options and derivatives trading generally declined. Average daily share volume for its largest market, in U.S.-listed equities, dropped to 7.55 billion from 9.31 billion a year ago and 10.33 billion the previous quarter.

"Despite lower industry trading volumes, we delivered exceptional results this quarter," CEO Bob Greifeld said, in a statement Friday. "This performance can be attributed to the success we've had in diversifying our business and identifying opportunities to deliver value-added products and services to our customers."

Looking ahead, Greifeld said Nasdaq is "well-positioned" to achieve its goal of $2 billion in revenue per year by the end of 2013. The company is still working on whittling down expenses related to layoffs, acquisitions and other items. It expects operating expenses for all of 2010 to fall in the range of $880 million to $890 million, including about $60 million in one-time costs.

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Nasdaq shares were up 20 cents, or 1%, to $21.10.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York

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