NYSE Euronext Earnings Call Nuggets: Capital Returns and Expenses

On Tuesday, NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Capital Returns

Alex Kramm – UBS: Just a quick one to start on the capital return. Obviously, you’ve been buying back stock at a pretty aggressive rate and from the – I guess with the $128 million remaining here I guess looks like you could be done at the end of this quarter. So just curious how you think about going to next year, your recommendations for the Board, when the Board is meeting again in terms of timing and any sort of capital return or buybacks for next year?

Michael S. Geltzeiler – Group Executive VP and CFO: Alex, I’ll take that. So really at this stage, we’re focused on the $550 million authorization, we’re not in a position to report on any future uses of free cash flow given that our leverage is also at 2.4 times now, we are likely to delever a little. As Duncan mentioned, we also as we prepare to clearing, we’ll be putting a little more capital on hand and consistent with the requirements for clearing. So this type of guidance we’ll give on our February call, but I would expect us to once we complete this repurchase to be delevering a bit.

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Duncan L. Niederauer – CEO and Director: The February call, Alex, just to be clear, we’ll follow end of January Board meeting that we have where I am sure the topic will be discussed, because remember the (550) is the end of the $1 billion authorization that was initially done. So I am we will be discussing it at the late January meeting and then we will like the Board’s desires at that time on the February call.

Expenses

Richard Repetto – Sandler O’Neill: First, Duncan, I want to congratulate you. You’re making a tough decision to closed Monday and Tuesday, but then having being standup and taken full accountability for the decision as well. Anyway, so my question is on expenses. Michael. You appear well ahead of the Project 14 expense targets for not only – well, for 2012, if you are looking at your guidance, it looks like you got a pretty – a nice uptick in 4Q expenses to the number above $14 million at the midpoint. So I guess the question is, can we expect incremental savings beyond what you’ve laid out in Project 14? I know you’ve talked about the 4Q run rate, but is that all just from sort of the extra clearing cost being built in?

Michael S. Geltzeiler – Group Executive VP and CFO: Yeah. I mean, at this stage, we are sticking with our guidance of $250 million over the three years. We’ve laid out the timing in which we are definitely ahead of the plan as we speak. We are in that time of the year where we are also doing our budgets and sitting down with management in going through our initiatives. You are accurate in your assessment of the fourth quarter. We expect the savings to continue and as I indicated we expect to be about $100 million favorable. For the year against the 250. So again I think we like to defer that to the February call where we provide a little more guidance about the upcoming year, but I think the goal as it’s always been here is to aggressively go after the cost and to reduce them as we’re able to do it, we’re not trying to adhere to the plan.

Duncan L. Niederauer – CEO and Director: And if we’re going to change the guidance or accelerate the timing, Rich, we’ll be fully transparent on that in the next call if we plan to do that.

A Closer Look: NYSE Euronext Earnings Cheat Sheet>>