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KCG Holdings Inc Class A KCG
Q1 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/18/2012

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Knight Capital Group First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. Our presenters today will be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Joyce, and Chief Financial Officer, Steve Bisgay. As a reminder, we will be conducting a question-and-answer session following the presentation.

Now, to kick off our program, I'd like to turn the call over to Jonathan Mairs, Director of Corporate Communication. Please go ahead ma'am.

Jonathan Mairs - Director, Corporate Communications and IR: Thank you, Alan. Good morning. I am Jonathan Mairs. Thank you for joining Knight's first quarter 2012 conference call. On line today are Tom Joyce, Chairman and CEO and Steve Bisgay, Senior Managing Director and CFO.

Before we begin, please direct your attention to the cautionary terms regarding forward-looking statements in today's discussion. Certain statements contained herein and the documents incorporated by reference may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

In addition, take a moment to read the Safe Harbor statement contained in today's press release, which is incorporated herein by reference. Finally, Knight's 2012 Annual Meeting for Stockholders will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The webcast will be accessible on Knight.com

Thank you. Now, I'll turn the call over to Tom Joyce. TJ?

Thomas M. Joyce - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, Jon. Good morning, everyone. As to start, I'm pleased with the overall financial results for the first quarter. While market conditions, and they were tough, tested the individual teams here at Knight, a collective workmanlike effort made a big difference in the end.

As a brief recap, overall U.S. equity market volumes declined about 14% year-over-year. Retail trading activity in U.S. equities fell an estimated 18% over the same period. In the VIX, we entered the low 20s in early January, which (indiscernible) at the time represent the height of volatility for the quarter. We're now into the third straight year of gradual step down in overall market volumes and volatility following the events of 2008. It remains to be seen when we will see real conviction and consistency return to the markets. In the meantime, we're proving capable of generating solid results in a rather bleak environment.

Speaking of, in the first quarter of 2012, Knight recorded consolidated revenues of $349 million, which is a 3% rise year-over-year and pre-tax earnings of $54 million, a 9% increase year-over-year. The results were driven by core U.S. equities market making, secondary trading in institutional ETFs and fixed income, reversed mortgage lending and HMBS issuance and institutional electronic trading products.

Pre-tax was somewhat constrained by the effects of market conditions, in particular on the profitability of the Market Making segment. While improving the continuing overhaul of Institutional Sales and Trading also pressured margins. Steve will provide greater detail on financial results, expenses and the balance sheet in his review of the quarter.

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