Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) operates as an electronic global futures and over-the-counter [OTC] marketplace for trading an array of energy products. It also operates as a soft commodities exchange. Intercontinental Exchange offer an integrated electronic platform for side-by-side trading of energy products in both futures and OTC markets.
Through its electronic trading platform, the Company's marketplace brings together buyers and sellers of derivative and physical commodities contracts. Intercontinental Exchange also offers open-outcry trading in Board of Trade of the City of New York, Inc [NYBOT] regulated futures and options markets.
The Company conducts its OTC business directly and its regulated energy futures business through its wholly owned subsidiary, ICE Futures. It operates in three segments: energy futures, OTC and market data. On January 12, 2007, it acquired NYBOT. In July 2007, the Company acquired ChemConnect, Inc.'s commodity trading business.
Intercontinental Exchange is a company that (with the exception of 2003) has posted exceptional growth in each of the past several years. The company posted its first profitable year in 2001 and since that time has posted year over year earnings growth of 125%, -61%, 67%, 140% and 150%.
The company isn't expected to continue that accelerating growth but is still expected to post growth in the 40 - 50% range both this year and next. Not too shabby at all. With net margins at 45% and return on equity at 25% (although has dipped in the past year), it's clear that ICE continues to exhibit all the characteristics of what I would call a home run stock.