Is Intercontinental Exchange a Buy After Stunning Results?

1 characteristic that I search for in a business prior to paying for shares is

1 characteristic that I search for in a business prior to paying for shares is how that business responds to a tough environment or a “black swan event.” Corporations that are equipped to not only withstand, but also grow for the duration of this sort of a time are the ones I am intrigued in owning.

The Covid-19 pandemic is an fantastic example of an sudden event producing havoc with the globe as we know it. 1 business that has down extremely nicely irrespective of the disruption to day-to-day life is Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE:ICE)

ICE operates the New York Inventory Exchange. The business shut its investing ground for the initially time in virtually 230 a long time in response to the coronavirus outbreak and immediately shifted its overall workforce to an at-household organization. Even with the challenges that this offered, ICE had a outstanding initially quarter. Let us take a search.

Corporation track record and latest results

ICE is an operator and operator of foremost economical exchanges, which include the New York Inventory Exchange. The business also gives an electronic market for investing futures and around-the-counter (OTC) strength contracts. In addition, ICE generates sector facts, pricing, danger administration and investing assistance. The business is composed of two corporations: Trading & Clearing (which gives marketplaces for listing, investing, futures and options across numerous asset lessons) and Info & Listings (which gives facts services for investing, investing, danger administration and connectivity). Every single phase contributed approximately fifty percent of revenues final calendar year. ICE trades with a latest sector capitalization of extra than $51 billion.

ICE claimed robust initially quarter earnings results on April thirty. Profits soared 23% to $1.6 billion, which defeat Wall Road analysts’ anticipations by $16 million. Modified earnings for each share enhanced 39% to $1.28, which was 6 cents in advance of estimates. Equally profits and EPS results have been a quarterly document for the business.

The Trading & Clearing phase was the genuine driver of development for the duration of the quarter, as profits enhanced 44% to $883 million. All regions of this phase had at minimum 11% development for the initially quarter. Electricity revenues, which accounted for 40% of full revenues for the phase, grew 54% to $353 million. This organization was buoyed by a substantial improve in average day-to-day volumes for futures and options. Financials, Fixed Cash flow & Credit rating and Income Equities & Fairness Choices all had forty one% development or better. Every single of these corporations observed spikes in average day-to-day volumes and will increase in amount for each deal. In full, future and options average day-to-day volumes have been up forty two% in contrast to the initially quarter of 2019.

Revenues for Info & Listings enhanced three% to $676 million. Pricing & Analytics led the way with four% development as this organization developed $276 million of profits on better demand for services. Exchange Info & Feeds enhanced two% on sturdy investing. Desktops & Connectivity was better by four% on the strength of worldwide network offerings. Network potential enhanced twelve% in the quarter.

Wrapping up initially quarter results, adjusted working fees improved thirteen% to $597 million, although ICE has guided for a sequential decrease of fees. The business has invested in its exchange trade money hub and built out its Property finance loan Solutions organization. ICE believes that these are two regions the business can go on to grow. The company’s adjusted working margin enhanced four% to 62%. ICE returned $866 million of money to shareholders for the duration of Q1, primaril via repurchasing virtually $seven hundred million well worth of shares.

Dividend and valuation analysis

ICE started spending a dividend in 2013. Whilst the dividend development streak is on the quick side, the company’s development costs have been generous. The business has improved its dividend by an average of 17.four% for each calendar year around the previous a few a long time and 16.two% for each calendar year around the previous five a long time.

ICE elevated its dividend 9.1% for the dividend payment created March 31. This improve is below the averages stated, but still at a reliable amount. Shares produce 1.three% following Monday’s investing session. This matches the stock’s five-calendar year average produce of 1.three%.

Wall Road analysts count on $four.49 of EPS for the latest calendar year. With an annualized dividend of $1.20, the earnings payout ratio is 27%. The latest payout ratio is virtually in-line with the five-calendar year average payout ratio of 26%. The company’s capability to hold its payout ratio at a dependable level is crystal clear, exhibiting that the dividend policy has been nicely managed, if not but economic downturn examined.

The no cost hard cash circulation payout ratio is also in fantastic condition. ICE distributed $166 million of dividends for the duration of the initially quarter whilst building no cost hard cash circulation of $461 million for a no cost hard cash circulation payout ratio of 36%. This is a wholesome payout ratio, just one that possible implies that the company’s dividend can be regarded as relatively harmless. ICE’s payout ratio around a longer interval of time search even much better.

Last calendar year, shareholders obtained $621 million of dividends whilst ICE had no cost hard cash circulation of $two.four billion, giving the business a no cost hard cash circulation payout ratio of 26%. Dividends paid out totaled $1.four billion for 2016 to 2018 whilst no cost hard cash circulation was $5.eight billion for this interval of time for an average no cost hard cash circulation payout ratio of 24%

Whilst shares of ICE may not supply a lot in the way of produce, the business has presented shareholders sizable will increase in its quick background of dividend development. The earnings and no cost hard cash circulation payout ratios are nicely within just a harmless vary.

Shares of ICE shut Monday’s session at $94.31. The business attained $three.88 for each share, giving the inventory a trailing price tag-earnings ratio of 24.three. Using anticipated EPS of $four.49, ICE has a forward price tag-earnings ratio of 21. The stock’s 10-calendar year average once-a-year price tag-earnings ratio is 20.1.

The company’s capability to take care of a shock so nicely had led me to consider that shares ought to have a slight quality to the historic average. I have a price tag-earnings ratio concentrate on vary of 20 to 22 for ICE. Using anticipated EPS for the calendar year, I consider the inventory is well worth in between $90 and $99 for each share. Trading within just this vary implies downside of four.5% to 5% of upside. The dividend will also include a little bit to full returns.

Last views

I am amazed with ICE’s capability to pivot so immediately in the encounter of the pandemic and develop the results that the business did. Its corporations done nicely and developed document results on a range of metrics.

The business has a quick dividend development background, but has rewarded shareholders with double-digit development for the vast majority of the final 8 a long time.

That explained, shares are currently investing in the center of concentrate on valuation vary, which by itself is above the prolonged-term average. There isn’t adequate upside or full return opportunity for me to buy the inventory at this second. Consequently, I would hold out for a pullback before purchasing shares of Intercontinental Exchange.

Writer disclosure: the author has no situation in any inventory outlined in this post.

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About the author:

Nathan Parsh

I was initially born in Detroit, Michigan, before moving to Maryland to commence a career as an educator. This is my 14th calendar year instructing. My wife and I have two youthful youngsters who preserve us on our toes.