Reviewing Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and National (NHLD)

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) and National (NASDAQ:NHLD) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.


Intercontinental Exchange pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. National does not pay a dividend. Intercontinental Exchange pays out 32.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Intercontinental Exchange has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.9% of Intercontinental Exchange shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 13.7% of National shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Intercontinental Exchange shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.2% of National shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Intercontinental Exchange and National’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Intercontinental Exchange 43.09% 11.67% 2.39%
National -5.45% -8.65% -5.57%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Intercontinental Exchange and National’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Intercontinental Exchange $5.83 billion 7.38 $2.51 billion $2.95 25.64
National $211.12 million 0.19 -$11.51 million N/A N/A

Intercontinental Exchange has higher revenue and earnings than National.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Intercontinental Exchange and National, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Intercontinental Exchange 0 3 12 0 2.80
National 0 0 0 0 N/A

Intercontinental Exchange currently has a consensus price target of $84.00, indicating a potential upside of 11.07%. Given Intercontinental Exchange’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Intercontinental Exchange is more favorable than National.

Volatility & Risk

Intercontinental Exchange has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its stock price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National has a beta of 0.6, suggesting that its stock price is 40% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Intercontinental Exchange beats National on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. operates regulated exchanges, clearing houses, and listings venues for financial and commodity markets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia, Israel, and Canada. It operates through two segments, Trading and Clearing; and Data and Listings. The company operates marketplaces for listing, trading, and clearing an array of derivatives and securities contracts across various asset classes, including energy and agricultural commodities, interest rates, equities, equity and credit derivatives, exchange traded funds, bonds, and currencies. It also offers end-to-end data services and solutions to support the trading, investment, risk management, and connectivity needs of customers across major asset classes. The company operates exchanges and marketplaces, such as ICE Futures Europe, ICE Futures U.S., ICE Futures Canada, ICE Endex, ICE Futures Singapore, NYSE America Options, and NYSE Arca Options, as well as over-the-counter markets for physical energy and credit default swaps, and central counterparty clearing houses. Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

About National

National Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services in the United States. The company offers retail brokerage services include execution of purchases and sale of stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and various other securities; and investment advisory services for individual, corporate, and institutional clients. It also provides investment banking services, such as underwriting the sale of securities to the public in initial and follow-on offering, and arranging for the private placement of securities with investors; and financial and corporate advisory services comprising mergers and acquisitions, project financing, capital structure, and specific financing opportunities to micro, small, and mid-cap high growth companies. In addition, the company trades in securities, including making markets in micro and small-cap, NASDAQ, and other exchange listed stocks and provides liquidity in the United States Treasury marketplace. Further, it provides asset management advisory services to retail clients; fixed insurance products, including life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and fixed annuities; and tax preparation services to individuals, primarily in the middle and upper income tax brackets, as well as accounting services to small and midsize companies. Additionally, the company offers licensed mortgage brokerage services; and investment products and services, which comprise stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, insurance, and managed money accounts. The company was formerly known as Olympic Cascade Financial Corporation and changed its name to National Holdings Corporation in March 2006. The company was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in New York, New York. National Holdings Corporation is a subsidiary of FBIO Acquisition, Inc.

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