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.
So now that we broke down the quarters for you, what are your goals? Today is the beginning of the second quarter for the next couple of months make a difference amd change.