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Moody's 1Q profit rises, boosts 2013 outlook

NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's first-quarter net income rose 9 percent, led by strong revenue growth in the U.S.

The ratings agency also increased its full-year earnings forecast on Friday.

Moody's earned $188.4 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with $173.5 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Taking out a lawsuit settlement charge of 14 cents per share, earnings were 97 cents per share.

Analysts predicted earnings of 85 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 climbed 13 percent to $731.8 million from $646.8 million. Wall Street expected $729 million in revenue.

U.S. revenue rose 18 percent to $406.1 million, while international revenue — which comprises 35 percent of total revenue — increased 8 percent to $325.7 million.

Revenue from Moody's Investors Service, the well-known branch that issues ratings on the debt of companies and governments, climbed 15 percent to $521.2 million. Revenue for Moody's Analytics, the smaller unit that offers research and risk management, increased 9 percent to $210.6 million.

Moody's Corp. now expects 2013 adjusted earnings in a range of $3.49 to $3.59 per share. Its prior guidance called for earnings between $3.45 and $3.55 per share. Revenue is still anticipated to climb in the high-single-digit percentage range.

Analysts expect earnings of $3.43 per share.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on June 10 to shareholders of record on May 20.