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Taking a look at the earnings calendar on the Nasdaq site I stumbled upon the column "Fiscal Quarter Ending". I see that some companies that report earnings on the 21st of November (http://www.nasdaq.com/earnings/earnings-calendar.aspx?date=2017-Nov-20) have different fiscal quarter endings.

Let's take for example the following 3 rows:

  1. Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A) whose fiscal quarter end is at Oct 17, in that case is the quarter they're reporting for is Jul, Aug and Sep?

  2. Amtech Systems, Inc. (ASYS) whose fiscal quarter end is at Sep 17, in that case is the quarter they're reporting for is Jun, Jul and Aug?

  3. Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC) whose fiscal quarter end is at Aug 17, in that case is the quarter they're reporting for is May, Jun, July?

Why do stock markets allow these differences in reporting?

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    It's unclear what this has to do with personal finance. Can you please clarify. – ChrisInEdmonton Nov 19 '17 at 13:26
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Why do stock markets allow these differences in reporting?

The IRS allows businesses to use fiscal calendars that differ from the calendar year. There are a number of reasons a company would choose do this, from preferring to avoid an accounting rush at end of year during holiday season, to aligning with seasonality for their profits (some like to have Q4 as the strongest quarter). Smaller businesses may prefer to keep the extra stress of year end closeout to a traditionally slower time for the business, and some just start their fiscal calendar when the company starts up.

You'll notice the report dates are a couple weeks after fiscal quarter end, you would read it as "three months ended...," so for Agilent, three months ended October 31, 2017, so August, September, October are their Q4 months.

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