|CME Group announces new shareholder friendly dividend policy .. |
Some highlights from CME's earnings report this am ..
CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME - News) today reported full-year 2011 results, primarily driven by a 10 percent increase in overall average daily volume. During the year, the company posted annual average daily volume records across the foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, energy and metals product lines.
Reflecting CME Group's strong cash flow, and consistent with our capital structure guiding principles, CME Group's board of directors raised the first-quarter regular dividend 59 percent, to $2.23 per share, based on a change to our dividend policy, increasing our payout target from 35 percent to 50 percent of prior year's cash earnings.
Furthermore, the company declared an additional, annual variable dividend, amounting to $3.00 per share in 2012. Going forward, this dividend will be considered in the first quarter of each year and will supplement the regular dividend. The amount of the annual variable dividend will be determined after the end of each year, and the level will increase or decrease from year to year based on operating results, potential M&A activity, and other forms of capital return including regular dividends and share buybacks during the prior year. Both dividends, totaling $5.23 per share, will be payable on March 26, 2012, to shareholders of record as of March 9, 2012.
Full-year 2011 revenues were $3.3 billion and operating income was $2.0 billion. Full-year net income attributable to CME Group was $1.8 billion and diluted earnings per share were $27.15. Fourth-quarter revenues were $736 million, which includes a $3 million negative impact related to MF Global's bankruptcy, and operating income was $390 million. Fourth-quarter net income attributable to CME Group was $746 million and diluted earnings per share were $11.25.
"The increase in our regular dividend and the addition of the variable dividend confirm both our optimism about our ability to drive continued growth and strong cash flows, and also our strong commitment to returning capital to CME Group's shareholders," said Jamie Parisi, CME Chief Financial Officer. "We believe a strong and growing dividend, and significant dividend yield, will attract shareholders to what we believe is an exceptional business model that is not capital intensive and is highly cash-generative."
Triff .. @wish-i-owned-it.com