MKTX
$545.46
Marketaxess
($3.68)
(.67%)
Earnings Details
4th Quarter December 2020
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 6:30:00 AM
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Summary

Marketaxess Beats

Marketaxess (MKTX) reported 4th Quarter December 2020 earnings of $1.91 per share on revenue of $171.3 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $1.84 per share on revenue of $167.5 million. The Earnings Whisper number was $1.84 per share. Revenue grew 32.0% on a year-over-year basis.

MarketAxess Holdings Inc operates an electronic trading platform for corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments.

Results
Reported Earnings
$1.91
Earnings Whisper
$1.84
Consensus Estimate
$1.84
Reported Revenue
$171.3 Mil
Revenue Estimate
$167.5 Mil
Growth
Earnings Growth
Revenue Growth
Power Rating
Grade
Earnings Release

MarketAxess Reports Fourth Quarter 2020 Revenues of $171.3 Million, Operating Income of $91.7 Million and Diluted EPS of $1.91

12 Consecutive Years of Record Volume, Revenue and Earnings

Company Announces Increase in Regular Quarterly Dividend to $0.66 per Share, up from $0.60

Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights*

  • Revenues of $171.3 million, up 32%
  • Operating income of $91.7 million, up 51%
  • Operating margin of 53.5%, up from 46.9%
  • Diluted EPS of $1.91, up 45% from $1.32
  • Open Trading™ credit volume of $218.1 billion, up 63%
  • Record Estimated U.S. high-grade market share of 22.8%, up from 19.9%
  • Record Estimated U.S. high-yield market share of 17.1%, up from 10.6%

*All comparisons versus fourth quarter 2019.

Full Year 2020 Financial Highlights*

  • Record revenues of $689.1 million, up 35%
  • Record operating income of $374.7 million, up 49%
  • Record operating margin of 54.4%, up from 49.1%
  • Record diluted EPS of $7.85, up 45% from $5.40
  • Record Open Trading™ credit volume of $861.1 billion, up 61%

*All comparisons versus full year 2019.

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets, today announced results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.

“In the midst of an economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, the value delivered to our clients through our unique liquidity solutions surged to new all-time highs in 2020,” said Rick McVey, Chairman and CEO of MarketAxess. “New sources of liquidity delivered through Open Trading drove over $1 billion in estimated transaction cost savings to our clients, exceeding total company revenue. Strong market share gains in all core trading products drove revenue growth of 35% for the year, and operating income growth of 49%. In addition, we continue to expand our product pipeline for future growth with new initiatives in Rates, Munis, Data and Post-Trade Services. New records were achieved in active clients trading with over 1,800 institutional investor and dealer firms now utilizing our global marketplace.”

Fourth Quarter Results

Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 32.0% to $171.3 million, compared to $129.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Operating income was $91.7 million, compared to $60.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 50.7%. Operating margin was 53.5%, compared to 46.9% for the fourth quarter of 2019. Net income totaled $72.9 million, or $1.91 per share on a diluted basis, compared to $50.3 million, or $1.32 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Commission revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 33.1% to $155.8 million, compared to $117.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Variable transaction fees increased 40.1% to $128.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to variable transaction fees of $91.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. U.S. high-grade trading volume as a percentage of FINRA’s high-grade TRACE trading volume increased to an estimated 22.8% for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to an estimated 19.9% for the fourth quarter of 2019.

All other revenue, which consists of information services, post-trade services and other revenue, increased to $15.5 million, compared to $12.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. The increase in all other revenue was principally due to $1.3 million of regulatory trade reporting revenue generated by Regulatory Reporting Hub since the November 30, 2020 acquisition date and $0.5 million of revenue due to the introduction of new Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (“SFTR”) reporting services.

Total expenses for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 15.6% to $79.6 million, compared to $68.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. The increase in total expenses was largely due to higher professional and consulting fees of $3.9 million, mainly attributable to self-clearing consulting fees of $1.3 million and acquisition related costs of $1.2 million; employee compensation and benefit costs of $3.4 million, mainly due to an increase in headcount; depreciation and amortization of $2.9 million; clearing costs of $1.7 million, mainly due to increased Open Trading activity; offset by a decrease in marketing and advertising expenses of $0.8 million on lower travel and entertainment spend. Expenses in the fourth quarter of 2020 reflect costs associated with the Regulatory Reporting Hub transaction totaling $2.4 million, including integration costs of $1.2 million, amortization of acquired intangibles expense of $0.8 million and deal-related transaction costs of $0.4 million. Excluding the Regulatory Reporting Hub transaction related costs, total expenses for the quarter were up 12.1%.

The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 19.2%, compared to 18.9% for the fourth quarter of 2019. The income tax provision for the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019 reflected $6.2 million and $3.6 million, respectively, of excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation awards.

Full Year 2020 Results

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 increased 34.8% to a record $689.1 million, compared to $511.4 million for 2019. Operating income was a record $374.7 million, compared to $250.9 million for 2019, an increase of 49.4%. Operating margin was 54.4%, compared to 49.1% for 2019. Net income totaled $299.4 million, or $7.85 per share on a diluted basis, compared to $204.9 million, or $5.40 per share, for 2019.

Commission revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020 increased 36.8% to a record $634.4 million, compared to $463.9 million for 2019. Variable transaction fees increased 43.3% to $526.3 million compared to variable transaction fees of $367.2 million for 2019. Variable transaction fees in 2020 include approximately $13.1 million of U.S. Treasuries trading commissions related to the November 2019 acquisition of LiquidityEdge LLC, now operating as MarketAxess Rates, compared to $2.4 million in 2019. U.S. high-grade trading volume as a percentage of FINRA’s high-grade TRACE trading volume increased to an estimated 21.6%, compared to an estimated 19.0% for 2019. All other revenue increased 15.1% to $54.7 million in 2020, compared to $47.5 million for 2019. The increase in all other revenue was principally due to $3.6 million of new data sales, $1.3 million of regulatory trade reporting revenue generated by Regulatory Reporting Hub since the November 30, 2020 acquisition date and $0.9 million of revenue due to the introduction of new SFTR reporting services.

Total expenses for the year ended December 31, 2020 increased 20.7% to $314.4 million, compared to $260.5 million for 2019. The increase in total expenses was principally due to higher employee compensation and benefits costs of $25.8 million, mainly due to an increase in headcount; clearing costs of $9.7 million, principally due to increased Open Trading activity; depreciation and amortization of $9.1 million; technology and communications costs of $7.3 million; professional and consulting fees of $6.8 million; offset by a decrease in marketing and advertising costs of $3.6 million. Excluding LiquidityEdge and Regulatory Reporting Hub expenses, total expenses for the year were up 15.2%.

The effective tax rate for 2020 was 20.0%, compared to 20.4% for 2019. The income tax provision for 2020 and 2019 reflected $24.1 million and $10.6 million, respectively, of excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation awards.

Employee headcount was 606 as of December 31, 2020 compared to 527 as of December 31, 2019. The increase in headcount was due to the continued investment in the Company’s growth initiatives, including geographic expansion, trading automation, new trading protocols and the transition to self-clearing.

Dividend

The Company’s board of directors declared a 10% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.66 per share of common stock outstanding, to be paid on February 24, 2021 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 10, 2021.

Share Repurchases

A total of 1,400 shares were repurchased in the fourth quarter of 2020 at a cost of $0.7 million. In January 2021, the Board of Directors authorized a new repurchase program for up to $100 million of the Company’s common stock. The Company expects repurchases under the new program to commence in April 2021 following the expiration of the current plan.

Balance Sheet Data

As of December 31, 2020, total assets were $1.3 billion and included $489.0 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments. Total stockholders’ equity as of December 31, 2020 was $955.1 million.

Guidance for 2021

For 2021, the Company is providing the following guidance:

  • Expenses are expected to be in the range of $362.0 million to $382.0 million and includes a full year of Regulatory Reporting Services expenses estimated to range between $15.0 million to $18.0 million. In addition to ongoing operating expenses, the 2021 acquisition expenses include estimated amortization expense on acquired intangible assets of $5.0 million and non-recurring integration costs of $5.0 million. Excluding the expenses related to Regulatory Reporting Hub, the midpoint in the guidance range on a constant currency basis would represent an approximate 13.0% year-over-year increase in expenses.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $50.0 million to $55.0 million and include an expected increase in capitalized software development to support new protocols, products and platform enhancements.
  • The Company’s overall effective tax rate is expected to be between 22.0% to 24.0% and reflects a lower benefit from estimated excess tax benefits on share-based compensation awards.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Other Items

To supplement the Company’s unaudited financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance, including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) and free cash flow. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken into consideration with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, are important in understanding the Company’s operating results. See the attached schedule for a reconciliation of GAAP net income to EBITDA and GAAP cash flow from operating activities to free cash flow.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

Rick McVey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Concannon, President and Chief Operating Officer and Tony DeLise, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss the Company’s financial results and outlook on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST. To access the conference call, please dial 855-425-4206 (U.S.) or 484-756-4249 (international). The Company will also host a live audio Webcast of the conference call on the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at http://investor.marketaxess.com. A replay of the call will be made available by dialing 855-859-2056 (U.S.) or 404-537-3406 (international) and using the conference ID: 3091967 for one week after the announcement. The Webcast will also be archived on http://investor.marketaxess.com for 90 days following the announcement.

About MarketAxess

MarketAxess operates a leading, institutional electronic trading platform delivering expanded liquidity opportunities, improved execution quality and significant cost savings across global fixed-income markets. A global network of over 1,800 firms, including the world’s leading asset managers and institutional broker-dealers, leverages MarketAxess’ patented trading technology to efficiently trade bonds. MarketAxess’ award-winning Open Trading™ marketplace is regarded as the preferred all-to-all trading solution in the global credit markets, creating a unique liquidity pool for a broad range of credit market participants. Drawing on its deep data and analytical resources, MarketAxess provides automated trading solutions, market data products and a range of pre- and post-trade services.

MarketAxess is headquartered in New York and has offices in London, Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, São Paulo, Hong Kong and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.marketaxess.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements about the outlook and prospects for Company and industry growth, as well as statements about the Company’s future financial and operating performance. These and other statements that relate to future results and events are based on MarketAxess’ current expectations. The Company’s actual results in future periods may differ materially from those currently expected or desired because of a number of risks and uncertainties, including: global economic, political and market factors; the volatility of financial services markets generally; the level of trading volume transacted on the MarketAxess platform; the absolute level and direction of interest rates and the corresponding volatility in the corporate fixed-income market; the level and intensity of competition in the fixed-income electronic trading industry and the pricing pressures that may result; the variability of our growth rate; the rapidly evolving nature of the electronic financial services industry; our ability to introduce new fee plans and our clients’ response; our exposure to risks resulting from non-performance by counterparties to transactions executed between our clients in which we act as an intermediary in matched principal trades; our dependence on our broker-dealer clients; the loss of any of our significant institutional investor clients; our ability to develop new products and offerings and the market’s acceptance of those products; the effect of rapid market or technological changes on us and the users of our technology; our ability to successfully maintain the integrity of our trading platform and our response to system failures, capacity constraints and business interruptions; our vulnerability to cyber security risks; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights or technology and defend against intellectual property infringement or other claims; our ability to enter into strategic alliances and to acquire other businesses and successfully integrate them with our business; our ability to comply with new and existing laws, rules and regulations both domestically and internationally; our ability to maintain effective compliance and risk management methods; the strain of growth initiatives on management and other resources; our future capital needs and our ability to obtain capital when needed; limitations on our operating flexibility contained in our credit agreement; and other factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More information about these and other factors affecting MarketAxess’ business and prospects is contained in MarketAxess’ periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and can be accessed at www.marketaxess.com.

Media and Investor Relations Contacts:

David CresciWilliam McBride
MarketAxess Holdings Inc.RF|Binder
+1-212-813-6027+1-917-239-6726
  
Kyle White 
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. 
+1-212-813-6355 



MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
 
                
      
 Three Months Ended  Year Ended 
 December 31,  December 31, 
 2020  2019  2020  2019 
 (In thousands, except per share data) 
 (unaudited) 
                
Revenues               
Commissions$155,813  $117,103  $634,445  $463,856 
Information services 8,771   8,515   34,341   30,730 
Post-trade services 6,564   3,923   19,460   15,763 
Other 198   233   879   1,003 
Total revenues 171,346   129,774   689,125   511,352 
                
Expenses               
Employee compensation and benefits 36,472   33,117   156,885   131,079 
Depreciation and amortization 10,592   7,730   35,996   26,857 
Technology and communications 8,922   7,155   34,092   26,792 
Professional and consulting fees 10,295   6,389   32,304   25,534 
Occupancy 3,220   3,090   13,425   11,639 
Marketing and advertising 2,307   3,087   7,940   11,559 
Clearing costs 4,997   3,345   21,058   11,314 
General and administrative 2,844   5,010   12,697   15,696 
Total expenses 79,649   68,923   314,397   260,470 
Operating income 91,697   60,851   374,728   250,882 
Other income (expense)               
Investment income 119   1,767   2,446   8,063 
Interest expense (96)     (1,142)   
Other, net (1,431)  (661)  (1,673)  (1,521)
Total other income (expense) (1,408)  1,106   (369)  6,542 
Income before income taxes 90,289   61,957   374,359   257,424 
Provision for income taxes 17,358   11,684   74,982   52,522 
Net income$72,931  $50,273  $299,377  $204,902 
                
                
Per Share Data:               
Net income per common share               
Basic$1.95  $1.35  $8.01  $5.53 
Diluted$1.91  $1.32  $7.85  $5.40 
                
Cash dividends declared per common share$0.60  $0.51  $2.40  $2.04 
                
Weighted-average common shares:               
Basic 37,405   37,176   37,359   37,083 
Diluted 38,188   38,091   38,144   37,956 



MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Commission Revenue Details
 
                
                
 Three Months Ended  Year Ended 
 December 31,  December 31, 
 2020  2019  2020  2019 
                
 Total Commissions Revenue 
 (In thousands) 
 (unaudited) 
                
Transaction Fees               
U.S. high-grade$59,645  $43,120  $253,684  $173,944 
Other credit 1 65,045   45,238   256,763   188,514 
Total credit 124,690   88,358   510,447   362,458 
Rates 2 3,267   2,983   15,890   4,722 
Total transaction fees 127,957   91,341   526,337   367,180 
                
Distribution Fees               
U.S. high-grade 21,524   18,647   81,893   71,885 
Other credit1 6,261   7,029   25,834   24,347 
Total credit 27,785   25,676   107,727   96,232 
Rates2 71   86   381   444 
Total distribution fees 27,856   25,762   108,108   96,676 
Total commissions$155,813  $117,103  $634,445  $463,856 
                
                
 Average Variable Transaction Fee Per Million 
 (unaudited) 
                
U.S. high-grade - fixed-rate$193.51  $177.27  $191.34  $171.06 
U.S. high-grade - floating-rate 40.14   53.64   48.21   63.15 
Total U.S. high-grade 187.27   170.36   185.40   164.44 
Other credit 1 202.55   191.36   203.45   193.45 
Total credit 194.94   180.50   194.06   178.35 
                
Rates2 3.95   4.81   3.99   7.16 
                
                
1 Other credit includes high-yield, emerging markets, Eurobonds and municipal bonds. 
2 Rates includes U.S. Government bonds, agencies and other government bonds. 



MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheet Data
 
        
        
 As of 
 December 31, 2020  December 31, 2019 
 (In thousands) 
 (unaudited) 
        
Assets       
Cash and cash equivalents$460,858  $270,124 
Cash segregated under federal regulations 50,059    
Investments, at fair value 28,111   230,477 
Accounts receivable, net 79,577   62,017 
Receivables from broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers 279,915    
Goodwill 147,388   146,861 
Intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization 95,354   60,986 
Furniture, equipment, leasehold improvements and capitalized
software, net
 85,204   71,795 
Operating lease right-of-use assets 75,924   81,399 
Prepaid expenses and other assets 28,708   30,770 
Deferred tax assets, net 331   501 
Total assets$1,331,429  $954,930 
        
Liabilities and stockholders’ equity       
Liabilities       
Accrued employee compensation$62,326  $47,365 
Payables to broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers 133,326    
Income and other tax liabilities 42,750   16,690 
Deferred revenue 4,248   3,499 
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities 40,106   19,294 
Operating lease liabilities 93,612   97,991 
Total liabilities 376,368   184,839 
        
Stockholders’ equity       
Common stock 123   122 
Additional paid-in capital 329,742   342,541 
Treasury stock (169,523)  (153,388)
Retained earnings 799,369   591,086 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (4,650)  (10,270)
Total stockholders’ equity 955,061   770,091 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$1,331,429  $954,930 



MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
 
                
                
 Three Months Ended  Year Ended 
 December 31,  December 31, 
 2020  2019  2020  2019 
                
 Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization 
 (In thousands) 
 (unaudited) 
Net income$72,931  $50,273  $299,377  $204,902 
Add back:               
Interest expense 96      1,142    
Provision for income taxes 17,358   11,684   74,982   52,522 
Depreciation and amortization 10,592   7,730   35,996   26,857 
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization
$100,977  $69,687  $411,497  $284,281 
                
 Free Cash Flow 
 (In thousands) 
 (unaudited) 
Cash flows from operating activities$227,620  $89,141  $404,489  $265,935 
Exclude: Net change in trading investments (5,316)  (4,416)  (67,952)  (4,045)
Exclude: Net change in fail-to-deliver/receive
from broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers
 (115,519)     49,278    
Less: Purchases of furniture, equipment and
leasehold improvements
 (1,988)  (3,609)  (15,010)  (12,292)
Less: Capitalization of software development costs (9,494)  (8,545)  (30,618)  (22,408)
Free cash flow$95,303  $72,571  $340,187  $227,190 



MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Volume Statistics*
 
                
                
 Three Months Ended
December 31,
  Year Ended
December 31,
 
 2020  2019  2020  2019 
                
 Total Trading Volume 
 (In millions) 
 (unaudited) 
                
U.S. high-grade - fixed-rate$305,537  $238,959  $1,311,512  $992,844 
U.S. high-grade - floating-rate 12,956   14,150   56,786   64,980 
Total U.S. high-grade 318,493   253,109   1,368,298   1,057,824 
Other credit 321,135   236,403   1,262,074   974,494 
Total credit 639,628   489,512   2,630,372   2,032,318 
                
Rates 826,276   620,437   3,987,424   659,548 
                
 Average Daily Volume 
 (In millions) 
 (unaudited) 
U.S. high-grade$5,137  $4,082  $5,451  $4,231 
Other credit 5,140   3,783   5,014   3,886 
Total credit 10,277   7,865   10,465   8,117 
                
Rates 13,327   10,007   15,886   2,638 
                
Number of U.S. Trading Days 1 62   62   251   250 
Number of U.K. Trading Days 2 64   64   254   253 
                
                
  
1 The number of U.S. trading days is based on the SIFMA holiday recommendation calendar. 
2 The number of U.K. trading days is based on the U.K. Bank holiday schedule. 
                
*Consistent with FINRA TRACE reporting standards, both sides of trades are included in the Company’s reported volumes when the Company executes trades on a matched principal basis between two counterparties. Consistent with industry standards, U.S. Government Bond trades are single-counted. 


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Source: MarketAxess Holdings, Inc.