Inside these posts: Ratings

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Geithner says U.S. won’t lose AAA rating

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday there is no risk the United States could lose its top-tier AAA credit rating as politicians move closer to agreeing on how to slashing the massive U.S. debt. Get the full story »

Dow plunges after S&P slashes outlook on U.S.

U.S. stocks slid on Monday, with the Nasdaq falling 2 percent, after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut its long-term outlook on the United States and another step by China to stem growth reignited worries about the global economy. Get the full story »

CME disagrees with S&P’s safeguard concerns

Chicago-based CME Group Inc., the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, said it disagrees with ratings agency Standard & Poor’s decision to put the company’s debt rating on CreditWatch Negative over a new plan to cut trading costs.

The CME plan, announced a week ago, would create a clearing membership class and offer margin discounts to traders of both Treasury securities and Treasury futures. Get the full story »

Morningstar nearly doubles 4Q profit

Morningstar Inc. said fourth-quarter net income increased to $27.4 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, from $14.8 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year earlier.

Moody’s gives Playboy corporate debt a B2 rating

The corporate debt rating for Playboy Enterprises Inc. was set Friday at “B2″, a speculative or junk rating, by Moody’s Investors Service.

The same rating was placed on $195 million worth of senior secured credit facilities. A “B3″ probability of default rating was issued.

The ratings were established in connection with the buyout of the Chicago company by a partnership headed by founder Hugh Hefner. Get the full story »

Fitch downgrades Boeing on jet delays

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner does a flyby at the Farnborough Airshow in England, July 18, 2010. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Fitch Ratings downgraded Boeing Co. on Friday as the company struggles with delays in getting its new line of jets to market.

Boeing’s new 787 is running three years behind schedule. Earlier this month, the Chicago company said it won’t be able to deliver the plane until July at the earliest instead of February. On top of that, Boeing is faced with rising pension costs and tightening defense budgets at the Pentagon and other governments around the world. Get the full story »

S&P raises credit rating on Motorola to ‘BBB’

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it raised its corporate credit and senior unsecured ratings on Motorola Inc. to “BBB” from “BB+” and removed the ratings from CreditWatch Positive, where they were placed on Sept. 2. Get the full story »

Better Business Bureau reviewing ratings system

The Better Business Bureau says it is reviewing its business accreditation system following criticism from Connecticut’s attorney general that a pay-to-play system gives members a ratings boost over nonmembers. Get the full story »

Moody’s doubts full adoption of debt reduction plan

Deficit-reduction measures presented by the leaders of a Congressional commission would support the country’s Aaa rating but implementation of the full plan looks unlikely, Moody’s said on Monday. Get the full story »

Fitch downgrades rating on Chicago bonds again

Less than two weeks before Chicago plans to sell $804.3 million in bonds, Fitch Ratings downgraded the city’s bond rating for the second time in less than three months.

Fitch cited the city’s continued use of long-term financial reserves and other non-recurring revenues to patch budget deficits, its large and increasing unfunded pension liability and the high unemployment and foreclosure rates locally.

“The downgrade reflects the city’s weakened financial flexibility,” Fitch stated in the report it issued this afternoon. Get the full story »

Analysts cautious after Fortune up on Ackman news

Fortune Brands’ shares surged 13 percent on Friday on the news that William Ackman’s firm Pershing Square Capital Management had purchased an 11 percent stake in the company. But the stock’s ebullience has given some analysts pause.

Peter Lisnic of Robert W. Baird downgraded Fortune’s stock on Monday morning from “outperform” to “neutral,” saying that the stock is now priced higher than its peers.

“Our rating adjustment reflects current valuation metrics that are now at a material premium relative to blended peer group multiples,” he wrote. “While [Fortune] remains well positioned in its end markets, and execution during the recession and housing downturn has been superb, current valuation metrics would appear to discount a stronger macroeconomic recovery than we believe is likely, particularly in U.S. housing construction markets.” Get the full story »