May 1 (Reuters) - Credit rating agency Moody's Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strong growth in its bond ratings and financial services businesses.
Revenue from the corporate bond ratings business rose 13 percent to $298.7 million in the first quarter, as a rise in M&A activity led to higher investment-grade issuance.
High-grade U.S. corporate debt offerings jumped 8 percent to $341.9 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking the strongest three-month period for the asset class since records began in 1980, according to Thomson Reuters data. (tmsnrt.rs/1zeFEIk)
Overall revenue in Moody's credit ratings business rose about 14 percent to $602.3 million, accounting for about 70 percent of the company's total revenue.
The analytics division, which sells financial research and data for assessing risk, reported a 10.5 percent rise in revenue to $263.3 million for the first quarter ended March 31.
Moody's bought credit rating and research services company Equilibrium in March to strengthen its presence in Latin America.
The company ramped up its financial services business by buying analytics software provider Lewtan Technologies and loan origination software maker WebEquity Solutions last year.
Net income attributable to Moody's rose to $230.1 million, or $1.11 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $218 million, or $1 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.03 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earlier this week, McGraw Hill Financial Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by growth in its Standard & Poor's ratings service business.
Moody's shares closed at $107.52 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Up to Thursday's close, the company's shares have gained 11 percent this year. (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)