Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Six little, five little, four little Indians....

By Brad Skillman
Jan. 27 (Bloomberg)

General Electric Co.’s and General Electric Capital Corp.’s AAA ratings may be downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service.

The ratings agency revealed its plans in a statement today.

Bloomberg January 22nd

In addition to GE, S&P gives an AAA stamp to Automatic Data Processing Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Corp. and Pfizer Inc. The McGraw-Hill Cos. unit considers Berkshire Hathaway Inc. a financial company and also rates it AAA

Moody’s Investors Service confers its equivalent Aaa on all those companies except Pfizer, which lost the designation in December 2006 following the failure of its cholesterol pill, torcetrapib. S&P changed its outlook on Pfizer that month to “negative.” Last month, the drugmaker froze its annual dividend after 41 years of increases.

GE and Toyota Motor Corp. had the outlook for their bonds lowered to “negative” by Standard & Poor’s last month. The number of non-financial AAA companies in the U.S. has dwindled to six from more than 60 in the early 1980s, according to S&P.

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters)

Fitch Ratings cut its ratings on Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Monday and Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service said they may cut them after the No. 1 drugmaker announced plans to buy Wyeth for $68 billion.

Pfizer said it secured $22.5 billion in funding from a consortium of banks to help pay for the deal.

S&P said it may lower Pfizer to the "AA" category, the third-highest investment grade, from the top "AAA" if the deal is completed as planned.

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