On Friday, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the largest options exchange in the United States, announced its second-quarter earnings results. Of particular interest was its total operating expenses, which soared 685% year-over-year from $160.6 million. CBOE explained:
“This was primarily due to the $460 million impairment of goodwill recognized in the Digital reporting unit, driven by negative events and trends in the broader digital asset environment. The said environment has changed dramatically since we closed the ErisX transaction on May 2, which resulted in the accounting adjustment.”
ErisX enables self-directed individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, for U.S. residents to invest in crypto assets. This was CBOE’s first venture into the digital assets sector; the company expects ErisX to be a long-term leader in the industry. The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the original acquisition.
However, it appears that ErisX’s fortunes worsened due to the cryptocurrency bear market. CBOE says that ErisX currently has a book value of $220 million. But, during Q2, CBOE took a goodwill impairment charge of $460.1 million linked directly to ErisX. Goodwill represents the difference between a firm’s acquisition value and the value of its net assets. Companies can be forced to take substantial goodwill write-offs if they overpaid for acquisitions.
Nevertheless, woes in CBOE’s digital segment were counterbalanced by core operations. On an overall basis, the derivatives exchange’s sales grew by 21% year-over-year to $424 million. Simultaneously, after removing the one-time, non-cash, goodwill impairment, its adjusted earnings increased by 21% year-over-year to $1.67 per share.