(Reuters) – New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc <ICE.N> on Thursday reported third-quarter profits that beat expectations, helped by its recent $11 billion acquisition of mortgage technology platform Ellie Mae, and financial data sales.
ICE bought Ellie Mae to strengthen its position in mortgage servicing, having made two other deals in the space in recent years, with a view it would benefit from a push to automate the home financing process. The onset of the global coronavirus pandemic accelerated the sector’s digitization.
“Rates are low, millennials are buying, you’re seeing people purchasing new homes to get more space, to get a pool, transitioning out of cities into suburbs,” ICE President Benjamin Jackson said on a conference call with analysts.
ICE closed the Ellie Mae deal at the beginning of September, but said the business added $75 million of revenue in the quarter to its trading and clearing unit, which overall reported $1.2 billion in revenue, up 24% from a year earlier.
Ellie Mae had been expected to contribute $70 million to ICE’s earnings in the quarter, according to estimates from Jefferies analyst Daniel Fannon.
ICE expects Ellie Mae to contribute $220 million to $235 million in fourth quarter revenue, versus Jefferies’ $210 million estimate, Fannon said in a client note.
Excluding onetime items, ICE earned $1.03 per share, 4 cents above the consensus expectations of analysts, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Financial data revenues rose 6% to $589 million.
ICE’s quarterly net income was down from a year earlier, mainly due to expenses from the Ellie Mae deal, at $390 million, or 71 cents per share, from $529 million, or 94 cents per share, a year earlier.
Operating expenses rose 24% to $784 million.
Overall revenue, minus transaction-based expenses, jumped 6% to $1.41 billion, topping estimates of $1.38 billion.
(Reporting by John McCrank in New York and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Jonathan Oatis)