Moody's first-quarter profit up 37 per cent

City A.M. Reporter
Bond ratings company Moody's has posted a rise in first-quarter profit, topping Wall Street expectations, and raised its dividend as corporate debt issuance jumped.

Net income rose 37 per cent to $155.5m (£94.3m) from $113.4m a year earlier, equating to a 43 per cent rise in earnings per share to 67 cents, from 47 cents in 2010. Analysts on average expected 54 cents a share.

Moody's has raised its 2011 earnings forecast and boosted its dividend based on its strong first-quarter performance, chief executive Raymond McDaniel said in a statement.

The company increased its quarterly dividend to 14 cents a share from 11.5 cents. It raised its full-year earnings forecast to $2.22 to $2.32 per share from a previous $2.12 to $2.22.

First-quarter revenue rose to $577.1m from $476.6m a year earlier.