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Moody's posts mixed Q3 earnings, shares up

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Ratings agency Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Thursday reported mixed earnings for the third quarter in a turbulent time for markets, creating difficult conditions for the issue of financial instruments that the agency covers.

Shares were up four percent at 34.94 Thursday morning.

In the three months to September 30, the company posted a profit of $130.7 million, or 57 cents a share, down from $136 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts estimated earnings of $0.47 per share.

Revenues for the quarter rose 3.5 percent to $531.30, missing consensus estimates of $542.78 million.

Moody's chairman and CEO, Raymond McDaniel, said: "Despite difficult debt issuance conditions, Moody's achieved year-on-year revenue and operating income growth in the third quarter of 2011, with strong performance by Moody's Analytics offsetting a modest revenue decline at Moody's Investors Service."

After notching impressive earnings growth in the first two quarters of the year on strong issuance of corporate debt, Moody's had cautioned more challenging issuance conditions in the US and Europe would challenge results in the back half of the year.

Revenues at credit ratings unit Moody's Investors Service, the company's biggest top line contributor fell 2 percent. Its global corporate finance and public, and project and infrastructure finance arms posted revenue declines of 11 percent and 2 percent respectively, while global structured finance posted a 17 percent increase.

Analytics revenue was up 16 percent.

Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its earnings per share guidance for the full-year at the upper end of a $2.38 to $2.48 per share range.

Quick facts: Moody's Corporation

Price: 255.62 USD

NYSE:MCO
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $48.26 billion
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