NEW YORK (
shares were surging Thursday morning as the ratings company lifted its full-year outlook and reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations.
In recent trading, Moody's shares were up 4.1% at $28.24, down from an earlier high of $28.70.
The ratings agency now forecasts 2010 earnings per share of $1.90 to $1.96, up from a prior outlook of $1.75 to $1.85. Moody's also thinks revenue will climb higher than earlier forecasted due to better-than-expected results in its global MIS business. It expects expenses to climb, too.
Moody's now sees revenue growing in the "high-single to low-double-digit" percent range vs. an earlier prediction of revenue climbing in the "mid-single-digit" percent range. It predicts expenses will climb in the "low-double-digit" percent range vs. an earlier forecast of a climb in the "mid- to high-single-digit" percent range.
The company reported $1.8 billion in revenue last year with expenses of $1.1 billion.
Moody's updated its forecasts while reporting $136 million, or 58 cents per share, in profit last quarter on revenue of $513.3 million. The results represent a 35% climb in profit and a 14% climb in revenue from the year-ago period. Analysts had expected the firm to earn 45 cents per share on revenue of $472.1 million, on average, according to
The company also said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 10.5 cents per share on Dec. 10 to shareholders of record on Nov. 20. Moody's will also continue buying back stock at "modest levels" in 2010, depending on available capital.
sold 370,146 shares of Moody's raising $10.2 million from sale, according to published reports.
continues to own approximately 12% in the rating agency.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York
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