Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reported record revenues
and earnings for 2004. However, fourth quarter earnings that
missed analyst estimates were enough to make its stock take a
The exchange's share price dropped over 10% on release of
its figures, closing 1 February at $191.5. The price has been
as high as $230.3 on 3 January. Part of the reason CME was
unable to impress analysts was that its rate per contract fell
to 71.7 cents, down 2% from its third quarter level.
CME executives explained that the rate fell in the fourth
quarter because more volume came from members, who pay lower
fees than non-members. Chief executive Craig Donohue explained
that the lower fee rate was a seasonal occurrence that isn't
expected in the first quarter. Analysts appeared to accept
Donohue's explanation and generally applauded CME's performance
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