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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 ?
But the World Championship quarter-finalist hit back with three points in a row to snatch victory 12-21 21-17 21-19.
Two woods singles national quarter-finalist and under-25s national finalist: Jamie-Lea Winch (Bilton).
PUB qualifier Sam Rooney continued his run in the darts Blue Square UK Open by beating former World Championship quarter-finalist Gary Welding 11-6 to reach the last 32.
But the 2005 French Open quarter-finalist, regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the game, is to take her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Feliciano Lopez, who took on third seed Lleyton Hewitt, is the first Spanish quarter-finalist for 33 years but is a far cry from the traditional clay-courters who continually fail to make the transition to grass.
Hallett, a former quarter-finalist at Sheffield, was beaten 5-1 by Carlo Giagnacovo - while James, a world championship semi-finalist 11 years ago, lost 5-3 to Ian Preece.
Britain will be guaranteed at least one quarter-finalist at Brighton - the penultimate event of the tour - if No.
There is every chance 2007 quarter-finalist Webster can add a couple of big scores to Special Brew's tally and if that is the case buyers should make a profit.
That would be enough to break even on Sporting Index's outright tournament market which offers 25 points for a losing quarter-finalist.
Liu defeated former quarter-finalist Dene O'Kane 10-3 while Tian cruised to a 10-2 victory over Dutchman Roy Stolk.
Lee (pictured left), aged 20, of West Lancashire, winner this season of the Leveret, Form by Ladies prestigious scratch tournament and a quarter-finalist in the England Ladies' Close Amateur Championship at her home club this month is one of two reserves.