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Three months of a year, often abbreviated as "Q." Q1 is January, February, and March; Q2 is April, May, and June; and so forth. Publicly traded companies must report on their earnings and other business performance measures every three months. Analysts also use quarters to measure performance internally. For example, one might compare sales in Q1 of 2009 to those in Q1 of 2008 to measure the company's health without having to account for seasonal variance. Often, quarters are abbreviated along with the calendar year; for example, the second quarter of 2006 is expressed as Q2 2006 or Q2/06.


1. One quarter of a point. For bond quotes, a quarter represents one quarter of 1% of par, or $2.50. Thus, a bond quoted at 91 2/4 is being offered for $917.50.
2. A 3-month period that represents 25% of a fiscal year.


The financial world splits up its calendar into four quarters, each three months long.

If January to March is the first quarter, April to June is the second quarter, and so on, though a company's first quarter does not have to begin in January.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all publicly held US companies to publish a quarterly report, officially known as Form 10-Q, describing their financial results for the quarter. These reports and the predictions that market analysts make about them often have an impact on a company's stock price.

For example, if analysts predict that a certain company will have earnings of 55 cents a share in a quarter, and the results beat those expectations, the price of the company's stock may increase. But if the earnings are less than expected, even by a penny or two, the stock price may drop, at least for a time.

However, this pattern doesn't always hold true, and other forces may influence investor sentiment about the stock.


One-fourth of a year. For 2007, January, February, and March would be written as 1Q07; April,May,and June would be 2Q07,and so on.

References in periodicals archive ?
Net sales from our Music & Arts division are expected to be approximately $34 million in the third quarter compared to $30.
Segment adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2015 also benefitted from the aforementioned decision to discontinue allocating certain corporate overhead expenses beginning in the first quarter of 2015.
After all the trouble the Lakers had breaking Milwaukee's zone defense in Tuesday's loss, Bryant sent a message when the Jazz tried to do the same at the start of the third quarter.
According to the Third Quarter 2005 Corcoran Report, closings at such luxury condominium buildings as Trump Park Avenue and One Beacon Court (151 East 58th Street) catapulted condominium prices on the East Side to record levels.
Tarragon Chairman and CEO William Friedman noted, "Despite disruptions caused by multiple hurricanes during the third quarter, our Florida developments fared well.
Sales, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses for the third quarter 2006 were $942,900, compared to $969,300 for third quarter 2005.
The cooperative median sale price of $594,300 during the third quarter of 2004 was 38% higher than a year ago.
He added that Melroe shipments were up more than 30 percent compared to third quarter 1993.
Revenues for both the third quarter and first nine months of 2006 exceeded earlier guidance of $8.
Three of the four segments, though, still have availability rates higher than the third quarter of 1998 - a legacy of the return of large blocks of space earlier this year.
Third quarter 1994 earnings included a benefit from a previously announced settlement with the Internal Revenue Service for open tax years 1979 through 1987.