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Acquisitions help Nasdaq beat profit estimates

A view of the exterior of the Nasdaq market site in Times Square after the Nasdaq breached the 6,000 mark for the first time ever on Tuesday, in New York City, NY, U.S. April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the transatlantic exchange operator benefited from its acquisitions.

Nasdaq's net income increased 28 percent to $169 million, or 99 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31.

Excluding one-time items, Nasdaq earned $1.10 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.06, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Nasdaq completed several acquisitions last year, including that of options exchange operator International Securities Exchange.

New York-based Nasdaq also bought Canadian stock trading venue CXC and news distribution company Marketwired last year.

"We are making significant progress executing against our acquisition integration plans, and we remain on pace to hit our synergy target of $60 million by the end of 2017," Nasdaq Chief Financial Officer Michael Ptasznik said in a statement.

The exchange industry is in the midst of a wave of consolidation as companies seek to move more trading onto fewer technology platforms to boost profit margins.

Revenue from market services, the company's biggest business, rose 8.5 percent to $218 million, while corporate services brought in $160 million, up nearly 12 percent.

Total revenue rose 9.2 percent to $583 million, boosted in part by a $50 million positive impact from acquisitions.

Operating expenses rose to $335 million from $315 million.

The company lowered the top end of its 2017 adjusted operating expense guidance to $1.30 billion from 1.31 billion. The low end remained unchanged at $1.26 billion.

Nasdaq is among the largest stock markets in the United States and handles more initial public offerings than all its peers.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)