Moody's Profit in Fourth-Quarter Exceeds Analysts' Estimates

Moody’s Corp., the owner of the second-largest credit rater, reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates even as global bond issuance dropped.

Net income fell 8 percent to $217.9 million in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $236.3 million a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement Friday. Profit excluding certain items was $1.09 a share, above the $1.05 average estimate of 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Revenue dropped 1.3 percent to $865.9 million from $877.5 million a year ago, Moody’s said. The company projected its full-year earnings guidance of $4.75 to $4.85 a share for 2016.

Revenue at Moody’s Investors Service, the credit-ratings unit that accounts for about about two-thirds of sales, was down 4 percent at $544.6 million.

Global corporate-bond issuance dropped 20 percent in the three months ended December from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As Moody’s is the largest rater by market share after McGraw Hill’s Standard & Poor’s unit, expectations on issuance volume will be in focus on Moody’s earnings call today, according to Joshua Yatskowitz, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Moody’s shares fell 4.8 percent to $82.91 as of 11:24 a.m. New York time, and are down 17 percent this year.

(Moody’s will hold a conference call for analysts and investors at 11:30 a.m. New York time. To listen, access the company’s website at http://ir.moodys.com)

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