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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 ?
The Quartermaster Corps was long responsible not only for troops but also for mules and horses.
Lieutenants and warrant officers wear the insignia of the Ordnance, Transportation, or Quartermaster branches.
They got on the gangway and the ship's quartermaster brought his rifle up to arm and issued a warning to them to leave.
At Fort Dix, the primary signal mission was to provide communications support to the 402nd Quartermaster Battalion and 227th Quartermaster Company.
The Duwamish is substantially more contaminated with PAHs and PCBs compared to Quartermaster Harbor, and the levels of toxic chemicals in the sediments at both sites were consistent with the degree of expression of CYPIA in the gills offish from the respective sites.
In 1807, Sharpe, promoted to second lieutenant, chafes nevertheless because he is assigned quartermaster chores while his regiment goes off to battle.
A retired Army Quartermaster officer, she has nine years experience in security assistance.
The 475th Quartermaster Group Forward (USAR), from Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif.
Stobie, an ex-Ulster Defence Association quartermaster, was gunned down at his home in Forthriver Road, north Belfast.
William Stobie, 51, an ex-Ulster Defence Association quartermaster, was gunned down at close range outside his flat in Forthriver Road as he approached his car shortly after 6am.

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