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Profit Surges at ICE

The electronic futures market keeps powering ahead.

Profits nearly tripled at the

Intercontinental Exchange

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

, fueled by strong trading volume in the quarter.

In the third quarter, the six-year-old electronic exchange, which specializes in energy futures, made $43.6 million, or 73 cents a share, compared to $16.8 million, or 5 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue more than doubled to $94.7 million, yet came in just under analysts' expectations of $95.1 million.

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Analysts, as surveyed by Thomson Financial, predicted that the ICE would earn 72 cents a share.

The average daily volume for ICE futures rose 125.1% to 412,993 contracts, compared to 183,481 contracts a year earlier.

The average daily commissions for over-the-counter business rose 95.3% to $737,967, the company said.

The Atlanta-based ICE has been in fierce competition for market share with another commodities exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is set to go public before the end of the month.

The ICE announced in mid-September that it plans to purchase the New York Board of Trade for $1 billion.

Acquiring the NYBOT -- a private futures exchange which specializes in food, fiber and financial products -- will also bring clearing in-house for the ICE. The deal is expected to close next quarter.

Shares of ICE were up $1.67, to $86.57.