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The Board of Directors of Moody's Corporation (NYSE:MCO) declared a regular quarterly dividend of 7 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec 10 to shareholders at the close of Nov 20.

Dividends are an indication of financial health. Moody’s should understand the implications of such an announcement if anyone does. But the announcement is just thrown out without any commentary.

On Oct 11 Moody’s announces that on Oct 25 they will announce quarterly results. On Oct 24 they announce the dividend a day before the complete quarterly report. On Oct 24 the stock dropped 2.57%. Of course there was a spike last Tuesday of about the same.

I have a personal suspicion of the wide-spread practice of announcing dividends before earnings. If dividends are the last item in the income statement, then they should not be announced first before investors can actually see the real results. Moody’s should get this!

MCO 1-yr chart:

MCO 1-yr chart

Source: Say It Ain't So: Moody's Corp. Announces Dividend Before Earnings Release