Bats Global Markets doubled profit in first quarter

Bats Global Markets Inc. headquarters in Lenexa.
Bats Global Markets Inc. headquarters in Lenexa.

Bats Global Markets, the Lenexa-based operator of the nation’s second-largest stock exchange, doubled its earnings in the first three months of the year compared with a year ago.

Bats said Thursday it earned $30.1 million, or 31 cents a share, in January, February and March. It earned $14.8 million, or 16 cents a share, in the same months of 2015.

Net revenues in the quarter totaled $111.8 million, after deducting payments to traders for providing liquidity to its markets and other costs of revenues. U.S. equities accounted for $72.9 million of the net revenue total.

Thursday’s report was the last covering Bats Global’s operation as a privately held company. Its shares became publicly traded last month through an initial public offering of Bats shares on its own stock exchange.

“It was a very strong quarter for the company to achieve while also very focused on executing our IPO,” chief executive Chris Concannon said during a conference call with analysts.

Bats executives did not take questions during the call, citing quiet period restrictions from the recent stock offering.

The company’s shares, which sold to investors originally at $19 each, closed Thursday at $24.15, up 31 cents or 1.3 percent on the day.

With a recent acquisition, Concannon said, the company now employs slightly more than 300 people.

Bats Global Markets operates exchanges for trading U.S. stocks and options, European stocks and currencies. Its U.S. stock exchange handled 21.3 percent of trades in the quarter, second behind the New York Stock Exchange and more than Nasdaq handled.

Bats Global Markets began in 2005 as Bats Trading, an electronic trading center founded by Dave Cummings. The former Cerner Corp. employee turned trader was reacting to a wave of mergers among trading centers that he felt left too little competition.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, on Twitter @mdkcstar