NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) reported Tuesday a 15 percent rise in its first quarter net income helped by improved trading volumes and cost saving measures.

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Net income for the trans-Atlantic exchange operator was up to $139 million from 121 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share were up 21 percent to $57 cents from $47 cents a year earlier. For the quarter ending March, net revenue for the operator was flat at $600 million, compared with $601 million in the prior year quarter. The company incurred a $1 million loss from foreign-exchange fluctuations as its payments come in euros and UK pounds.

“Our first quarter results reflected improved trading volumes in our European derivatives franchise,” Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer wrote in the statement.

NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) earnings have fallen for the past four quarters owing to a weakness in the US stock trading, and options volume remains below the 2011 record.

The exchange has been following cost cutting measures, under the plan known as Project 14, to save $250 million of expenses by the end of 2014. The company resorted to the plan after it was denied a merger with Deutsche Boerse AG (ETR:DB1) in February 2012. Based on the first quarter performance and expected further cost savings, the company expects to exceed the full-year 2013 cost guidance target of $1,525 million.

For the second quarter of 2013, Board of Directors announced a cash dividend of $0.30 per share, payable on June 28, 2013 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 14, 2013.

Shares of the 220-year-old NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) were up 0.9 percent to $38.65 yesterday. So far this year, shares have gained 23 percent, which is double the Bloomberg World Exchanges Index of 26 bourses. IntercontinentalExchange Inc (NYSE:ICE) has gained 31 percent so far, the second most in the index.

NYSE’s smaller equity-exchange and US-listings rival, NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) earnings, which were reported on April 24, beat analysts’ estimates. The profit for Deutsche Boerse AG (ETR:DB1), based in Frankfurt, fell 26 percent as trading volume declined.

In December, IntercontinentalExchange Inc (NYSE:ICE) announced they would acquire NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) for about $8.2 billion. The deal, if it goes through, will result in the world’s largest exchange company by valuation.

The operator has announced a special stockholder meeting on June 3, 2013 to decide on the ICE transaction with a record date of April 26, 2013.