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ICE 1Q earnings fall 8 percent, tops expectations

ATLANTA (AP) -- IntercontinentalExchange, which operates commodity futures and derivatives exchanges, said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income fell 8 percent as operating expenses rose and revenue from transaction fees fell.

But the company, which is in the process of buying NYSE Euronext Inc., reported adjusted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

The Atlanta-based company, known as ICE, reported net income of $135.4 million, or $1.85 per share in the three months ending March 31. That compares with $147.9 million, or $2.02 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Excluding costs related to the company's proposed acquisition of NYSE Euronext and other expenses not linked to its core business, ICE said that its net income rose 1 percent to $149 million, or $2.03 per share. That's above the $1.97 per share that Wall Street analysts were expecting, according to research firm FactSet.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $351.9 million from $365.2 million. That's above the $348.3 million in revenue analysts expected, according to FactSet.

ICE said in December that it will buy NYSE Euronext, owner of the New York stock exchange, for $8 billion. ICE expects acquisition costs in the second quarter to be between $10 million and $12 million. It has scheduled a June 3 stockholder meeting to approve the NYSE Euronext acquisition.

The company's operating expenses rose 8 percent to $151.8 million in the first quarter. Revenue from transaction and clearing fees fell 7 percent to $299.7 million.

ICE's stock rose $3.98, or 2.4 percent, to $166.91 in morning trading.