What happened

Shares of MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) jumped 13.1% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The electronic bond-trading platform announced a new strategic partnership and delivered better-than-expected earnings.

So what

On April 4, MarketAxess announced a partnership with Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) to provide enhanced trading tools to institutional investors. MarketAxess' clients will gain access to Virtu's real-time eNAV fair value tool for exchange-traded funds, trade analytics, and anonymous ETF trading services. Virtu Financial's customers, meanwhile, will have access to MarketAxess' leading fixed-income trading platform. 

Traders working at a trading desk

MarketAxess is making more tools available to bond traders. Image source: Getty Images.

Then on April 24, MarketAxess reported strong first-quarter results. Trading volume leapt 13% to $526.2 billion, driven by record volumes in all of the company's core product lines. MarketAxess' Open Trading platform -- which offers traders a cost-effective way to transact anonymously -- was a notable bright spot, with volume surging 65.6% to $134.4 billion. 

All told, MarketAxess' first-quarter revenue rose 8.5% to $124.5 million, while its earnings per share increased 9.4% to $1.39. That beat Wall Street's expectations for EPS of $1.37. 

Now what 

MarketAxess' shares are up another 3% so far in May and a total of 35% in 2019. Investors appear to be growing increasingly bullish on the company's future prospects -- and for good reason. As the leading electronic bond-trading network, MarketAxess is well positioned to profit from the industry's transition to digital trading platforms and away from manually conducted transactions. As such, investors shouldn't be surprised if MarketAxess' stock continues to hit new all-time highs in the months ahead.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.