NASDAQ Joins NYSE & CME In Paying Dividends, Finally (NDAQ, NYX, CME, CBOE, ICE)

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The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is finally going to start paying out a cash dividend to its shareholders.  The company announced its plans to initiate a quarterly cash dividend at a rate of $0.13 per share of common stock to be paid on June 29, 2012 to all holders of record on June 15, 2012.

This is the first dividend paid out by NASDAQ to its common shareholders in the company’s history.  If you annualize the $0.13 as static per quarter, the yield comes to 2% for shareholders based upon the $25.33 price.  The rival NYSE Euronext, Inc. (NYSE: NYX) has a much higher dividend yield of about 4.5% and it has paid out a dividend since June of 2007.

Today’s dividend news is long overdue.  We have listed this exchange as a dividend sinner before and Raymond James noted the call for a dividend as recently as February.  If you look at the CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) it has been public far less time than NASDAQ and it has been paying a dividend since back in 2003.  CME Group even went as far as declaring a special dividend earlier this year on top of its regular common dividend.

CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) has been public for less than two years and it has been paying a dividend since late in 2010.  The leader in options trading has a dividend yield of about 1.8% and that dividend is likely to be raised in the next quarter or two.

IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) is now the last of the public U.S. securities exchanges which does not have a dividend yield. Today’s dividend news by NASDAQ is long overdue.

JON C. OGG

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