What Is Most Recent Quarter (MRQ)?
The term most recent quarter (MRQ) refers to the fiscal quarter that most recently ended. MRQ figures are used to describe changes in company performance. MRQ information is found on a company's financial statements.
Understanding Most Recent Quarter (MRQ)
Companies compile complete financial statements for each fiscal quarter, presenting their sales, earnings, and other measures of performance. Halfway through a quarter, complete data, including earnings, is not likely to be available. So the most recent financial data that is complete is likely to be available only when the quarter is complete.
Fiscal quarters are typically divided as such:
- Q1: January, February, March
- Q2: April, May, June
- Q3: July, August, September
- Q4: October, November, December
Thus, when a prospective investor is seeking the latest information about a company in February 2021, the company will refer them to the most recent quarter which would be Q4 of 2020.
While most companies' fiscal year matches a calendar year, some businesses use a fiscal year of their own construction. Costco Wholesale Corporation's fiscal year, for example, begins in September and ends in the following August.
Companies are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to release quarterly disclosures, such as the 10-Q, in order to communicate to investors the most recent quarter's performance. Many companies also put out less complete but still extensive press releases detailing their performance for the most recent quarter.
Companies typically include their income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement for each quarter. They also show how the quarter compares to the same period from a year earlier. Half-year data and an annual report may also be presented.