NYSE Euronext narrowly beat analyst forecasts with a 13 profit rise to $212 million (134 million pounds) in the fourth quarter, after Deutsche Boerse's plan to take over the trans-atlantic exchange were scuppered last week.

The exchange group said revenue for the period was $628 million, versus analyst forecasts of $626.6 million, while net income adjusted for merger costs was $128 million, just above analyst estimates of $126.3 million.

The results, which reflect slow trading in some of NYSE's core markets for the period, came just a week after European anti-trust authorities forced Deutsche Boerse to abandon its planned $7.4 billion takeover of the New York exchange.

We have only become stronger as a company during this time, as evidenced by the double-digit growth in earnings we recorded in 2011 and our strengthened balance sheet, NYSE Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer said.

NYSE responded to the deal's collapse on Wednesday last week by saying it will return $550 million to shareholders through a share repurchase programme and to seek to grow its derivatives business.

NYSE rival Nasdaq OMX Group said last week its profit for the fourth quarter topped analysts' expectations, boosted by a rise in revenue from market data and technology, which helped offset a soft trading environment.

(Editing by David Cowell)