|Ashton Technology Group Announces Key Accomplishments: Surpasses Operating Plan Expectations |
PHILADELPHIA, Sep 12, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Ashton Technology Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ASTN) today announced significant business developments since the company's finalization of its new business model last May.
"We are executing successfully against our business plan. The plan projects operating on a break-even basis in the second quarter of the company's fiscal year 2003 and our progress to date is encouraging," said Robert Warshaw, Ashton's acting CEO. "Since the strategic investment was completed on May 7, 2002, we have maintained the average revenue per share and average cost of trading built into our business plan and we are excited to announce that we are ahead of plan in revenue-related areas including, but not limited to, total volume and average monthly volume traded."
Warshaw added that Ashton has outpaced its business plan in other key areas, including sales, trading profitability, product enhancements, branding and technology.
Since May 7, 2002, Ashton's subsidiary, Croix Securities, has surpassed monthly volume projections in four consecutive months. Average order size, average monthly orders per customer, number of trading days and number of new accounts traded have all increased month over month. Since May 7, 2002, every trade accepted and executed by Croix Securities has been profitable--meaning commissions received have been greater than the combination of execution costs, clearing and settlement costs and fees paid to Ashton's liquidity providers.
In terms of branding, Ashton is ahead of schedule for the launch of its new identity, which will encompass all communications for both the parent company and its broker/dealer subsidiaries.
Also completed ahead of schedule was the successful integration and launch of the company's technology and trading algorithms--optimizing the allocation of orders to Ashton's liquidity sources and executing proprietary trades electronically.
Ashton has taken, and continues to take, a broad set of steps to reduce the operating expenses of the company. This has included employee reduction, substantive pay-cuts (averaging 10% at all levels of the company) and a restructuring of sales force compensation to be largely driven by trading volumes. The company continues to work with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange to determine the long-term viability of the eVWAP facility, which Ashton expects to resolve in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Finally, Ashton reaffirmed its plan to announce the hiring of a permanent CEO in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002. "We are confident that we will identify and hire an executive who brings substantial customer relationships, proven broker-dealer experience and a vision of how technology will continue to revolutionize trade execution," added Trevor Price, President and COO of The Ashton Technology Group.
The Ashton Technology Group, Inc. is headquartered in Philadelphia with offices in New York and Chicago. Ashton and its subsidiaries provide electronic trading solutions to institutional investors and broker-dealers that reduce market impact and lower transaction costs, resulting in superior trading execution. Ashton trades under the symbol ASTN.OB.
CONTACT: Ashton Technology Group, Inc., Philadelphia Media Relations Paul Shapiro, 215/789-3320 firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashton Technology Group, Inc. Investor Relations Julian Willis, 215/789-3317 email@example.com