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Credit Rating Agencies: The Basics for Business Research
Online - Medford
Subjects: United States; Other services; Telecommunications systems & Internet communications; Credit management
Author: Hartmann, Janet
Date: Jan/Feb 2012
Start Page: 15
Pages: 6
Abstract (Document Summary)

Credit rating agencies (CRA) rate the creditworthiness of an issuer or entity and its financial obligations. The three major agencies in the US-Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, Moody's Investors Service Inc, and Fitch Ratings Ltd -- have a combined market share of 95%-97%, according to Bloomberg LP Ratings are issued on a letter-grade scale. The CRA reports contain a wealth of information, aside from their investment uses, for business researchers. Company credit research reports profile companies that have public debt, including many that don't have regular Wall Street research coverage. These reports may contain financial ratios, operating and financial strengths and weaknesses, and comparisons to competitors. All this useful content, however, is not that easy to come by. Research reports on companies, industries, and topics are generally limited to subscribers, as is full-text searching and PDF downloading. The validity of the ratings produced by the agencies in making investment decisions is certainly a good question.

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