(Adds CEO's comments, background on former exchange enforcement
actions, financial details, stock price)
Feb 7 The New York Stock Exchange received
notice that staff at the top U.S. securities regulator
recommended an enforcement action against the exchange related
to a nearly four-hour trading halt on July 8, 2015, NYSE's
parent company said on Tuesday.
The results of the notice from the Securities and Exchange
Commission and any enforcement action related to the outage are
unknown at this time, NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc
said following the release of its financial results.
"We dispute the appropriateness of the potential charges,"
ICE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Sprecher said on an earnings
conference call with analysts.
NYSE has sent the SEC a letter defending its actions before
and during the outage, he said.
"At the end of the day it was a technology outage, it was
very unfortunate, it was embarrassing and a black eye but we
don't believe that it actually violated any law."
The outage resulted from a flawed software rollout the
previous evening that caused communication problems between a
NYSE trading unit and customers. The NYSE eventually canceled
all open orders as it worked to solve the problem.
Previous SEC enforcement actions against exchanges include a
$14 million settlement in 2015 to BATS Global Markets
over charges that two exchanges acquired by BATS had given
advantages to certain high-frequency trading firms.
In May 2013, the SEC penalized Nasdaq Inc $10
million to settle charges stemming from mistakes made during
Facebook Inc's initial public offering in 2012.
ICE on Tuesday said its net income in the fourth quarter
dropped to $352 million, or 59 cents per share, from $370
million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding acquisition-related expenses and other one-time
items, the profit was 71 cents a share, topping analysts'
average estimate by two cents, according to Thomson Reuters
Shares of ICE were up 2.1 percent at $59.75 in early trading
(Reporting by John McCrank in New York; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and Paul Simao)