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Nymex Profit Up

The commodities exchange reports a good quarter before its IPO.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, on the eve of its IPO, reported a big surge in third-quarter profit.

The commodities and futures exchange's third-quarter profit soared 81.7%, fueled by sharp increases in trading volume.

Nymex Holdings

, the parent company of the exchange, which specializes in energy and precious metals trading, made $40.7 million in the third quarter, compared with $22.4 million a year earlier.

Net revenue rose 45.4%, to $142.4 million.

If the Nymex were already a public company, it would have earned 47 cents a share, on the basis of the 86 million shares it will have outstanding after its initial public offering.

Third-quarter results included a $6 million charge related to the closure of Nymex's London facility, which housed the exchange's trading floor.

The exchange's daily average contracts rose 41.6%, to 1.32 million in the quarter.

Nymex is set to complete an initial public offering in the next two weeks. The exchange, which values itself around $4.5 billion, anticipates pricing shares between $48 and $52 a share and offering them on the

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New York Stock Exchange

under the ticker symbol NMX. It plans to offer 6.48 million shares of common stock.

If shares of Nymex were priced at $52 a share, the exchange would have a price-to-earnings multiple of 39 times over the past 12 months. The Nymex's price-to-earnings ratio falls far short of its Atlanta-based competition, the

Intercontinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) Report

, which has a trailing P/E of 177.3 times, but comes closer to the

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get CME Group Inc. Class A Report

at 46.9 times.