Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Quarter (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)

What it is:

A quarter is a three-month period. There are four in one fiscal year.

How it works (Example):

In the finance world, quarter 1 usually spans January 1-March 31; quarter 2 usually spans April 1-June 30; quarter 3 usually spans July 1-September 30; and quarter 4 usually spans October 1-December 31. However, companies may have their own quarterly calendars.

Why it Matters:

Quarters are the time periods around which much of the financial world revolves. Reports issued that cover the performance during a quarter (called quarterly reports) usually involve a set of financial statements. Public companies in the United States file these reports via Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q.

Quarterly reports help investors take the pulse of the companies they invest in. Comparing the quarterly information to the previous year's information for the same quarter can yield rich insight into how seasonal a company's business is, short-term  performance and growth rates in a variety of measures, and information to compare with  similar companies.

Related Terms View All
  • Baby Bills
    With its Windows and Office products, Microsoft has dominated the market for computer...
  • Lease
    Leases can be for a variety of assets, though real estate often comes to mind first. For...
  • Obligation Bond
    The face value of an obligation bond is usually larger than the value of the property...
  • Nakahara Prize
    The board of directors of the Japanese Economic Association determines who wins the...
  • Self-Insure
    Let's say John Doe owns a restaurant. He buys property and casualty insurance that only...