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Moody's posts 31 pct leap in 2nd-quarter profit

NEW YORK (AP) -- Credit rating agency Moody's Corp. on Wednesday said its second-quarter profit rose 31 percent as companies issued more corporate bonds. The results easily topped Wall Street estimates.

Moody's reported net income of $225.5 million, or $1 per share, for the three months ended June 30. That compared with profit of $172.5 million, or 76 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2012.

Revenue jumped 18 percent to $756 million, from $640.8 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting profit of 91 cents per share, on revenue of $722.2 million, according to FactSet.

The New York-based company said U.S. revenue increased 18 percent to $408.4 million, while international revenue also rose 18 percent, to $347.6 million.

Revenue for Moody's Investors Service, its ratings arm, jumped 22 percent worldwide to $537.3 million as companies issued more bonds and bank loans increased. Moody's gets income from rating for investors how likely companies are to pay back their debts.

Revenue in Moody's Analytics, the company's research and economic analysis unit, rose 10 percent to $218.7 million.

The company's board raised its dividend 25 percent to $1 per year, up from 80 cents. A quarterly payout of 25 cents will be distributed on Sept. 10 to shareholders on Aug. 20.

Moody's backed its prior forecast for earnings per share, excluding one-time items, this year between $3.49 and $3.59. Wall Street is expecting profit of $3.56 per share, on average.

Moody's shares closed Tuesday at $62.31, up nearly 24 percent since the start of the year.