Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4'

A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends. A quarter refers to one-fourth of a year and is typically expressed as "Q." The four quarters that make up the year are: January, February and March (Q1); April, May and June (Q2); July, August and September (Q3); and October, November and December (Q4). A quarter is often shown with its relevant year, as in Q1 2012 or Q1/12, which represents the first quarter of the year 2012.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4'

All public companies in the United States must file quarterly reports (known as 10-Qs) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Each 10-Q contains the public company's unaudited financial statements and company operations information for the previous three months (quarter). 10-Qs are required for the first three quarters of the year. Each publicly traded company must also file an annual report, known as a 10-K, which includes all of the quarters.

Companies, investors and analysts use data from different quarters to make comparisons and evaluate trends. For instance, a retailer may compare this year's Q2 sales over last year's Q2 sales, or an analyst may evaluate a firm's earnings by reviewing data from the same quarter over several years.

VIDEO

RELATED TERMS
  1. Quarter Over Quarter - Q/Q

    A measure of an investment or company's growth from one quarter ...
  2. Quarter To Date - QTD

    A time interval that captures all relevant company activity that ...
  3. Earnings

    The amount of profit that a company produces during a specific ...
  4. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  5. Quartile

    A statistical term describing a division of observations into ...
  6. Public Company

    A company that has issued securities through an initial public ...
Related Articles
  1. Consumer Spending As A Market Indicator
    Markets

    Consumer Spending As A Market Indicator

  2. Earnings Forecasts: A Primer
    Economics

    Earnings Forecasts: A Primer

  3. Strategies For Quarterly Earnings Season
    Investing

    Strategies For Quarterly Earnings Season

  4. Surprising Earnings Results
    Markets

    Surprising Earnings Results

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Letter Of Credit

    A letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. ...
  2. Due Diligence - DD

    1. An investigation or audit of a potential investment. Due diligence serves to confirm all material facts in regards to ...
  3. Certificate Of Deposit - CD

    A savings certificate entitling the bearer to receive interest. A CD bears a maturity date, a specified fixed interest rate ...
  4. Days Sales Of Inventory - DSI

    A financial measure of a company's performance that gives investors an idea of how long it takes a company to turn its inventory ...
  5. Accounts Payable - AP

    An accounting entry that represents an entity's obligation to pay off a short-term debt to its creditors. The accounts payable ...
  6. Ratio Analysis

    Quantitative analysis of information contained in a company’s financial statements. Ratio analysis is based on line items ...
Trading Center