04.20.2022

MarketAxess Reports Record Average Daily Volume

04.20.2022
Italian and French Trading Volumes Hit by FTT

MarketAxess Holdings Inc., 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, announced financial results for the first quarter of 2022.

1Q22 Financial and operational highlights*

  • Revenues of $186.1 million; second highest level ever of quarterly revenue; record U.S. Treasury, emerging markets and municipal bond revenue.
  • Total expenses of $98.0 million, up 7% on continued investment; up 5%, excluding acquired intangible amortization.
  • $105.8 million in EBITDA and EBITDA margin of 56.8%.
  • Diluted EPS of $1.71 includes a net $0.02 per share negative impact from tax and other, net special items; Company reconfirms full-year 2022 effective tax rate guidance range of 24.0% to 26.0%.
  • Declared $0.70 per share dividend; repurchased 101,514 shares for a total cost of $38.8 million.
  • Record total trading average daily volume (“ADV”) of $37.5 billion, up 22%, driven principally by record U.S. Treasury ADV of $25.1 billion; credit ADV of $12.0 billion, with record emerging markets ADV of $3.1 billion and record municipal bond ADV of $288 million.
  • Estimated combined U.S. high-grade and high-yield market share of 19.1%, in line with the prior year; approximately 92% of credit volume on the platform was executed by institutional clients.
  • Delivered $201 million in estimated transaction cost savings for clients through Open Trading, our differentiated liquidity pool, surpassing 1Q21 levels.
  • Record $14 billion in portfolio trading volume.

*All comparisons versus first quarter 2021 unless otherwise noted.

“Record trading volumes this quarter surpassed pandemic level highs, driven principally by strong sequential improvement in credit and record U.S. Treasury volumes. This strong performance reflects the excellent strides we have made in executing our growth strategy, expanding our geographic diversification and establishing a broader foundation for growth,” said Rick McVey, chairman and CEO of MarketAxess. “We have delivered these results as market conditions continue to improve, with wider spreads and increased spread volatility driving significant cost savings for our clients through Open Trading, our differentiated liquidity pool. We believe we are well positioned to capture the global e-trading opportunity ahead of us due to our expanded global product footprint, improving market conditions and our continued focus on trading automation and all-to-all trading.”

1Q22 Select financial results

1Q22 vs. 4Q21 1Q22 vs. 1Q21
$ in millions, except per share data (unaudited) 1Q22 % CHANGE % CHANGE
Revenues $186 13% (5%)
Operating Income $88 21% (15%)
    Operating Margin % 47% +340 bps (560) bps
Net Income $65 24% (19%)
Diluted EPS $1.71 25% (19%)
EBITDA $106 22% (7%)
    EBITDA Margin % 57% +450 bps (140) bps

Quarterly trading volume (ADV)

CREDIT RATES
$ in millions (unaudited) Total Volumes High-Grade High-Yield Emerging
Markets
Eurobonds Other
Credit Prod.
Total Other
Credit
Total
Credit
US Govt.
Bonds
Agcy./Other
Govt. Bonds
Total
Rates
1Q22 $37,504 $5,518 $1,626 $3,060 $1,493 $308 $6,487 $12,005 $25,076 $423 $25,499
1Q21 $30,693 $5,958 $1,839 $2,912 $1,502 $108 $6,361 $12,319 $18,175 $199 $18,374
4Q21 $29,158 $4,482 $1,355 $2,590 $1,169 $115 $5,229 $9,711 $19,087 $360 $19,447
1Q22 vs. 1Q21
% Change
22% (7%) (12%) 5% (1%) 185% 2% (3%) 38% 113% 39%
1Q22 vs. 4Q21
% Change
29% 23% 20% 18% 28% 168% 24% 24% 31% 18% 31%

Overview of results

Revenues

  • U.S. high-grade: U.S. high-grade commission revenue of $75.9 million (includes $23.0 million in fixed-distribution fees) decreased $10.4 million, or 12%, compared to $86.3 million (includes $21.0 million in fixed-distribution fees) in the prior year. The year-over-year decrease was principally due to lower average fee per million (“FPM”) and lower U.S. high-grade market volumes, partially offset by higher fixed-distribution fees. The decline in average FPM for high-grade to $154.57 in the current quarter, compared to $179.83 in the first quarter of 2021, was mainly due to the shorter duration of bonds traded (driven by higher bond yields and shorter years-to-maturity). There have been no changes to the U.S. high-grade fee plan.
    • Estimated U.S. high-grade market share in the first quarter of 2022 was 20.7%, slightly above the 20.5% recorded in the prior year period.
  • Other credit: Other credit commission revenue of $84.0 million (includes $8.2 million in fixed-distribution fees) decreased $1.3 million, or 2%, compared to $85.3 million (includes $6.4 million in fixed-distribution fees) in the prior year. The FPM for other credit products was $187.76 in the current quarter, compared to $201.78 in the first quarter of 2021. The decline in other credit FPM was due to a larger percentage of trading volume in local market emerging market bonds which have lower fees per million and dealer migration to fixed-distribution fee plans that command lower transaction fees.
    • Record quarterly emerging markets ADV of $3.1 billion increased 5%, with estimated market volume down 7%, compared to the prior year first quarter.
    • Record quarterly municipal bond ADV of $288 million increased 205% (up 32% excluding MuniBrokers variable commission related volume) driven by market share gains.
  • Total credit: Total credit ADV of $12.0 billion, was down 3%, with combined estimated U.S. high-grade and U.S. high-yield TRACE ADV down 9%. The first quarter of 2022 was the second best quarter of total credit trading volume. The FPM for total credit products was $174.54 in the current quarter, compared to $191.20 in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Rates: Total rates commission revenue of $6.3 million increased $2.0 million, or 49%, compared to the prior year, driven by record U.S. Treasury ADV of $25.1 billion, up 38% compared to the prior year. The average FPM for total rates products was $3.92 in the current quarter, compared to $3.70 in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Information & post-trade services: Information and post-trade services record combined revenue of $19.7 million increased $0.3 million, or 2%, compared to the prior year.

Expenses

  • Total expenses of $98.0 million increased $6.0 million, or 7%, driven principally by higher acquired intangible amortization and investments to enhance the trading system and data products. Depreciation and amortization expense increased $3.4 million due to higher software development depreciation expense and acquired intangible amortization expense. Technology and communication expenses increased $2.2 million due to higher subscription costs, market data expense and platform licensing fees.

Non-operating

  • Other income: Other income was $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, representing a $4.0 million increase compared to the prior year. The current quarter included a $1.6 million benefit related to the remeasurement of the contingent liability associated with the MuniBrokers acquisition, and a $1.3 million foreign currency transaction gain. The impact of these items was a net benefit of $0.06 per diluted share.
  • Tax rate: The effective tax rate for the first quarter of 2022 was 28.4%, compared to 21.0% for the first quarter of 2021. The higher effective tax rate for the current quarter, compared to the prior year, was driven by a decrease in estimated excess tax benefits related to share based compensation awards and the impact of a tax charge of $3.2 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, related to a settlement with the New York State tax authorities. Excluding the tax charge, the effective tax rate would have been 24.8%. The Company reconfirms its full-year 2022 effective tax rate guidance range of 24.0% to 26.0%.

Capital

  • The Company has $400.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments; there are no outstanding borrowings under the Company’s credit facilities.
  • A total of 101,514 shares were repurchased in the first quarter of 2022 at a cost of $38.8 million.
  • The Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.70 per share, payable on May 18, 2022 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on May 4, 2022.

Other

  • The Company had record active total client firms of 1,913 and record international client firms of 975.
  • Employee headcount was 689 as of March 31, 2022, compared to 610 as of March 31, 2021, and 676 as of December 31, 2021.

Other highlights

  • The Company launched the MKTX U.S. Investment Grade 400 Corporate Bond Index (MKTX 400 Index), which leverages MarketAxess’ proprietary Relative Liquidity Score and Composite+ pricing engine to construct an index with improved liquidity, transparency and high availability of the constituent bonds.
  • Nash Panchal, previously with Goldman Sachs where he was Global Co-Head of Technology in the Goldman Sachs Asset Management division, was appointed Chief Information Officer on March 1, 2022. Nash will be integral in bringing clients the next generation of technology solutions needed to navigate the rapidly evolving electronic fixed-income markets.

Source: MarketAxess

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