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MarketAxess Reports Second Quarter 2021 Revenues of $176.3 Million, Operating Income of $87.2 Million and Diluted EPS of $1.77

Second Quarter Highlights*

  • Revenues of $176.3 million, down 5%
  • Operating income of $87.2 million, down 16%
  • Operating margin of 49.4%
  • Diluted EPS of $1.77, down 20% from $2.20
  • 2-year compound annual growth rates of 19% for revenue and 20% for operating income compared to second quarter of 2019
  • Estimated U.S. high-grade market share of 21.1%
  • Record municipal bond trading volume; closed MuniBrokers transaction in April 2021
  • Emerging market trading volume up 11%; estimated market volumes down 17%
  • Record active total client firms of 1,842 and international client firms of 930

*All comparisons versus second quarter 2020 unless otherwise stated.

NEW YORK, July 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets, today announced results for the quarter ended June 30, 2021.

“Second quarter results were heavily impacted by low levels of credit market volatility in a very tough year over year comparison for MarketAxess,” said Chairman and CEO Rick McVey. “We are proud of the Company’s record results achieved last Spring during elevated credit spread volatility and high market volume caused by the Pandemic and, though we were not able to duplicate those results, we believe the Company’s long-term revenue and earnings growth rates remain on track. In addition to consistent long-term growth in our core business, we are excited about the progress we are making in our international business, emerging markets, municipal bonds, and new trading protocols. We believe our investments are creating a much broader foundation for future growth that will be evident when more normal levels of volatility return to fixed income markets.”

Second Quarter Results

Total revenues for the second quarter of 2021 decreased 4.6% to $176.3 million, compared to $184.8 million for the second quarter of 2020. Operating income was $87.2 million, compared to $104.1 million for the second quarter of 2020, a decrease of 16.3%. Operating margin was 49.4%, compared to 56.4% for the second quarter of 2020. Net income totaled $67.3 million, or $1.77 per share on a diluted basis, compared to $83.9 million, or $2.20 per share, for the second quarter of 2020.

Commission revenue for the second quarter of 2021 decreased 9.1% to $156.4 million, compared to $172.1 million for the second quarter of 2020. Variable transaction fees decreased 13.0% to $127.1 million for the second quarter of 2021, compared to variable transaction fees of $146.0 million for the second quarter of 2020. Commission revenue includes $1.1 million generated by MuniBrokers, which was acquired in April 2021. U.S. high-grade trading volume as a percentage of FINRA’s high-grade TRACE trading volume was an estimated 21.1% for the second quarter of 2021, compared to an estimated 21.5% for the second quarter of 2020. Estimated U.S. credit TRACE trading volume decreased by 18.7% year-over-year.

All other revenue, which consists of information services, post-trade services and other revenue, increased to $19.9 million, compared to $12.7 million for the second quarter of 2020. The increase in all other revenue was principally due to $3.8 million of regulatory trade reporting revenue generated by Regulatory Reporting Hub, which was acquired from Deutsche Börse Group in November 2020, and $1.3 million of revenue due to the weaker U.S. dollar to U.K. pound sterling exchange rate.

Total expenses for the second quarter of 2021 increased 10.5% to $89.2 million, compared to $80.7 million for the second quarter of 2020. The increase in total expenses was largely due to higher depreciation and amortization of $4.8 million, which includes $2.8 million of acquired intangibles expense; higher professional and consulting fees of $2.6 million, mainly attributable to non-recurring integration costs associated with the Regulatory Reporting Hub transaction of $1.3 million and self-clearing consulting fees of $0.7 million; and higher technology and communication costs of $2.0 million which was partially offset by a decrease in clearing costs of $1.3 million. Expenses in the second quarter of 2021 reflect operating expenses and costs associated with the MuniBrokers and Regulatory Reporting Hub businessess totaling $5.1 million. Excluding the MuniBrokers and Regulatory Reporting Hub expenses, total expenses for the quarter were up 4.2%.

The effective tax rate for the second quarter of 2021 was 21.8%, compared to 19.7% for the second quarter of 2020. The income tax provision for the second quarter of 2021 and 2020 reflected $5.6 million and $5.7 million, respectively, of excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation awards.

Employee headcount was 637 as of June 30, 2021 compared to 561 as of June 30, 2020. The increase in headcount was due to the continued investment in the Company’s growth initiatives, including geographic expansion, trading automation, new trading protocols and the transition to self-clearing.


The Company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend to $0.66 per share of common stock outstanding, to be paid on August 18, 2021 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on August 4, 2021.

Share Repurchases

A total of 28,701 shares were repurchased in the second quarter of 2021 at a cost of $13.4 million.

Balance Sheet Data

As of June 30, 2021, total assets were $1.5 billion and included $449.5 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments. Total stockholders’ equity as of June 30, 2021 was $1.0 billion.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Other Items

To supplement the Company’s unaudited financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance, including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) and free cash flow. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken into consideration with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, are important in understanding the Company's operating results. See the attached schedule for a reconciliation of GAAP net income to EBITDA and GAAP cash flow from operating activities to free cash flow.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

Rick McVey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Concannon, President and Chief Operating Officer and Tony DeLise, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss the Company’s financial results and outlook on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. To access the conference call, please dial 855-425-4206 (U.S.) or 484-756-4249 (international). The Company will also host a live audio Webcast of the conference call on the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at A replay of the call will be made available by dialing 855-859-2056 (U.S.) or 404-537-3406 (international) and using the conference ID: 5230777 for one week after the announcement. The Webcast will also be archived on for 90 days following the announcement.

About MarketAxess

MarketAxess operates a leading, institutional electronic trading platform delivering expanded liquidity opportunities, improved execution quality and significant cost savings across global fixed-income markets. A global network of over 1,800 firms, including the world’s leading asset managers and institutional broker-dealers, leverages MarketAxess’ patented trading technology to efficiently trade bonds. MarketAxess’ award-winning Open Trading® marketplace is regarded as the preferred all-to-all trading solution in the global credit markets, creating a unique liquidity pool for a broad range of credit market participants. Drawing on its deep data and analytical resources, MarketAxess provides automated trading solutions, market data products and a range of pre- and post-trade services. For more information, please visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements about the outlook and prospects for Company and industry growth, as well as statements about the Company’s future financial and operating performance. These and other statements that relate to future results and events are based on MarketAxess’ current expectations. The Company’s actual results in future periods may differ materially from those currently expected or desired because of a number of risks and uncertainties, including: global economic, political and market factors; risks relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the possible effects of the economic conditions worldwide resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to the U.K. exit from the European Union; the level of trading volume transacted on the MarketAxess platform; the rapidly evolving nature of the electronic financial services industry; the level and intensity of competition in the fixed-income electronic trading industry and the pricing pressures that may result; the variability of our growth rate; our ability to introduce new fee plans and our clients’ response; our ability to attract clients or adapt our technology and marketing strategy to new markets; risks related to our growing international operations; our dependence on our broker-dealer clients; the loss of any of our significant institutional investor clients; our exposure to risks resulting from non-performance by counterparties to transactions executed between our clients in which we act as an intermediary in matched principal trades; risks related to self-clearing; the effect of rapid market or technological changes on us and the users of our technology; our dependence on third-party suppliers for key products and services; our ability to successfully maintain the integrity of our trading platform and our response to system failures, capacity constraints and business interruptions; the occurrence of design defects, errors, failures or delays with our platforms; our vulnerability to cyber security risks; our actual or perceived failure to comply with privacy and data protection laws; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights or technology and defend against intellectual property infringement or other claims; our ability to enter into strategic alliances and to acquire other businesses and successfully integrate them with our business; our dependence on our management team and our ability to attract and retain talent; limitations on our flexibility because we operate in a highly regulated industry; the increasing government regulation of us and our clients; our exposure to costs and penalties related to our extensive regulation; our risks of litigation and securities laws liability; our future capital needs and our ability to obtain capital when needed; limitations on our operating flexibility contained in our credit agreement; and other factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More information about these and other factors affecting MarketAxess’ business and prospects is contained in MarketAxess’ periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and can be accessed at

Media and Investor Relations Contacts:

David CresciWilliam McBride
MarketAxess Holdings Inc.RF|Binder
Kyle White 
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. 


MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
 Three Months Ended  Six Months Ended 
 June 30,  June 30, 
 2021  2020  2021  2020 
 (In thousands, except per share data) 
Commissions$156,431  $172,092  $332,269  $328,046 
Information services 9,844   8,427   19,006   17,069 
Post-trade services 9,848   4,054   20,109   8,207 
Other 211   222   414   451 
Total revenues 176,334   184,795   371,798   353,773 
Employee compensation and benefits 40,732   41,636   88,820   82,830 
Depreciation and amortization 13,097   8,305   24,876   16,372 
Technology and communications 10,544   8,592   20,580   16,753 
Professional and consulting fees 10,704   8,065   20,344   13,740 
Occupancy 3,300   3,286   6,617   6,760 
Marketing and advertising 3,128   1,810   4,332   4,485 
Clearing costs 4,372   5,713   9,066   11,223 
General and administrative 3,280   3,253   6,512   6,386 
Total expenses 89,157   80,660   181,147   158,549 
Operating income 87,177   104,135   190,651   195,224 
Other income (expense)               
Investment income 107   714   214   1,983 
Interest expense (171)     (362)   
Other, net (1,060)  (446)  (2,649)  (1,102)
Total other income (expense) (1,124)  268   (2,797)  881 
Income before income taxes 86,053   104,403   187,854   196,105 
Provision for income taxes 18,765   20,549   40,109   37,435 
Net income$67,288  $83,854  $147,745  $158,670 
Per Share Data:               
Net income per common share               
Basic$1.79  $2.25  $3.94  $4.25 
Diluted$1.77  $2.20  $3.87  $4.16 
Cash dividends declared per common share$0.66  $0.60  $1.32  $1.20 
Weighted-average common shares:               
Basic 37,508   37,340   37,489   37,322 
Diluted 38,104   38,153   38,129   38,115 

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Commission Revenue Details
 Three Months Ended  Six Months Ended 
 June 30,  June 30, 
 2021  2020  2021  2020 
 Total Commissions Revenue 
 (In thousands) 
Transaction Fees               
U.S. high-grade$56,413  $75,208  $121,769  $133,178 
Other credit 1 67,074   66,977   145,973   132,587 
Total credit 123,487   142,185   267,742   265,765 
Rates 2 3,612   3,846   7,755   9,432 
Total transaction fees 127,099   146,031   275,497   275,197 
Distribution Fees               
U.S. high-grade 21,373   19,635   42,343   39,609 
Other credit1 7,895   6,329   14,299   12,987 
Total credit 29,268   25,964   56,642   52,596 
Rates2 64   97   130   253 
Total distribution fees 29,332   26,061   56,772   52,849 
  Total commissions$156,431  $172,092  $332,269  $328,046 
 Average Variable Transaction Fee Per Million 
U.S. high-grade - fixed-rate$179.02  $186.67  $182.21  $185.04 
U.S. high-grade - floating-rate 36.40   55.06   41.19   51.38 
Total U.S. high-grade 174.11   181.41   177.13   178.86 
Other credit 1 194.49   204.66   198.36   201.80 
Total credit 184.62   191.66   188.11   189.62 
Rates2 4.07   4.02   3.86   3.93 
1 Other credit includes high-yield, emerging markets, Eurobonds and municipal bonds. 
2 Rates includes U.S. Government bonds, agencies and other government bonds. 

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheet Data
 As of 
 June 30, 2021  December 31, 2020 
 (In thousands) 
Cash and cash equivalents$413,612  $460,858 
Cash segregated under federal regulations 50,108   50,059 
Investments, at fair value 35,838   28,111 
Accounts receivable, net 87,125   79,577 
Receivables from broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers 475,739   279,915 
Goodwill 154,789   147,388 
Intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization 119,989   95,354 
Furniture, equipment, leasehold improvements and capitalized
   software, net
 93,108   85,204 
Operating lease right-of-use assets 73,906   75,924 
Prepaid expenses and other assets 33,709   29,039 
Total assets$1,537,923  $1,331,429 
Liabilities and stockholders' equity       
Accrued employee compensation$39,278  $62,326 
Payables to broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers 278,303   133,326 
Income and other tax liabilities 41,345   42,750 
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities 65,872   44,354 
Operating lease liabilities 91,265   93,612 
Total liabilities 516,063   376,368 
Stockholders' equity       
Common stock 123   123 
Additional paid-in capital 313,683   329,742 
Treasury stock (183,479)  (169,523)
Retained earnings 896,977   799,369 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (5,444)  (4,650)
Total stockholders' equity 1,021,860   955,061 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity$1,537,923  $1,331,429 

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
 Three Months Ended  Six Months Ended 
 June 30,  June 30, 
 2021  2020  2021  2020 
 Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization 
 (In thousands) 
Net income$67,288  $83,854  $147,745  $158,670 
Add back:               
Interest expense 171      362    
Provision for income taxes 18,765   20,549   40,109   37,435 
Depreciation and amortization 13,097   8,305   24,876   16,372 
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
$99,321  $112,708  $213,092  $212,477 
 Free Cash Flow 
 (In thousands) 
Cash flows from operating activities$96,726  $104,853  $73,567  $225,222 
Exclude: Net change in trading investments 11,064   (6,880)  5,569   (63,274)
Exclude: Net change in fail-to-deliver/receive
from broker-dealers, clearing organizations and customers
 (26,596)     66,774    
Less: Purchases of furniture, equipment and
 leasehold improvements
 (5,552)  (4,973)  (9,809)  (9,264)
Less: Capitalization of software development costs (8,384)  (6,225)  (16,459)  (13,003)
Free cash flow$67,258  $86,775  $119,642  $139,681 

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
Volume Statistics*
 Three Months Ended
June 30,
  Six Months Ended
June 30,
 2021  2020  2021  2020 
 Total Trading Volume 
 (In millions) 
U.S. high-grade - fixed-rate$312,858  $398,006  $662,673  $710,194 
U.S. high-grade - floating-rate 11,153   16,574   24,779   34,380 
Total U.S. high-grade 324,011   414,580   687,452   744,574 
Other credit 344,865   327,266   735,885   657,019 
Total credit 668,876   741,846   1,423,337   1,401,593 
Rates 888,267   955,594   2,009,135   2,400,472 
 Average Daily Volume 
 (In millions) 
U.S. high-grade$5,143  $6,581  $5,544  $5,957 
Other credit 5,521   5,234   5,935   5,256 
Total credit 10,664   11,815   11,479   11,213 
Rates 14,113   15,169   16,203   19,204 
Number of U.S. Trading Days 1 63   63   124   125 
Number of U.K. Trading Days 2 61   61   124   125 
1 The number of U.S. trading days is based on the SIFMA holiday recommendation calendar. 
2 The number of U.K. trading days is based on the U.K. Bank holiday schedule. 
*Consistent with FINRA TRACE reporting standards, both sides of trades are included in the Company's reported volumes when the Company executes trades on a matched principal basis between two counterparties. Consistent with industry standards, U.S. Government Bond trades are single-counted. 

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