NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Commodity risk management firm FCStone Group Inc. said late Wednesday that trading volume declined in April.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Michael Vinciquerra subsequently cut his third-quarter estimate on the Kansas City, Mo.-based company due to expectations for weak trading activity in the coming months. He trimmed his estimate by 1 penny to 6 cents per share.

Vinciquerra maintained a "Market Perform" rating on the shares and a $3 target price on the stock.

Late Wednesday, the company said that exchange-traded contract volume dropped 17 percent in April to 4.15 million contracts from 5.01 million in March 2009, and down 56 percent from 9.51 million contracts in April 2008.

Trading volume of over-the-counter contracts increased 20 percent in April over March, but fell by 61 percent from year-earlier levels.

FCStone advises customers on how to manage their exposure to commodities like oil, coffee and grain. When prices are more volatile, customers have greater need to protect themselves by locking in prices with the types of contracts FCStone Group brokers.

Commodities markets have not been as volatile in recent months as they were a year earlier.

Shares of FCStone added 3 cents to $3.93 in early afternoon trading Thursday. Shares are down 89 percent from a year earlier.
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