Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Hewlett-Packard’s credit rating earlier this week, citing poor policies, a high turnover rate among top executives and an unclear strategy. HP’s local and foreign long-term debt ratings now sit at BBB+, down from A, making it more expensive for the company to borrow money. The firm also cut HP’s short-term rating to A-2 from A-1. “We have concerns that HP’s inconsistent growth strategies and high levels of board of director and senior management turnover have elevated the level of operational and execution risk in the near term,” S&P analyst Martha Toll Reed said in a statement. The agency also said that HP’s $10.2 billion Autonomy acquisition has reduced the company’s liquidity and financial flexibility. S&P’s press release follows below. More →
Following a rating review initiated on January 28th, Moody’s on Thursday lowered Nokia’s senior debt rating from A2 to A3 and cut its short-term debt ratings from Prime-1 to Prime-2 with a negative outlook. Moody’s cites Nokia’s weakened position in the cell phone market and uncertainty surrounding the company’s upcoming transition to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as the reasoning behind the downgrades. “The rating downgrade primarily reflects Nokia’s weakened market position in its core business, mobile devices, which has reduced the company’s margins and funds from operations,” said Moody’s SVP and lead Nokia analyst Wolfgang Draack in a note. “In Moody’s view, the main reasons for this trend are: (i) an inflexible smartphone operating system; (ii) slow time-to-market for new models; (iii) more attractive innovation by smartphone competitors; and (iv) accelerating price competition for low-end phones.” The move follows Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Nokia’s credit rating last month, when it said it expects Nokia’s market share to continue to slide through this year and in 2012.
For the first time in thirteen years, Nokia’s credit rating has been downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Rating Service. The Finnish phone maker, which has held an A rating since 1998, has been under the financial microscope in recent years due to the rise of its competitors and, more recently, for its software deal with Redmond-based Microsoft. “The downgrade reflects the revision of our business risk profile assessment on Nokia to ‘satisfactory’ from ‘strong,’” writes S&P in its report. “We expect that Nokia’s smartphone portfolio will make further significant market share losses during 2011 and 2012 until it has completed its adoption of Microsoft’s Windows Phone software as its new primary software platform for smartphones.” The company’s new credit rating is A-. Nokia’s smartphone market share fell 9-points last year, from 40% in Q4 of 2009 to 31% in Q4 of 2011. The company’s stock was trading down slightly on the news. More →
We reported yesterday that T-Mobile will be eliminating its FlexPay plans, and we’ve now received a screen shot of an internal T-Mobile document that confirms the carrier’s plans to drop FlexPay. In its place, T-Mobile will be introducing a program that lets customers with unsatisfactory credit sign up for postpaid-like plans by leaving deposits up front. These deposits range from $50 per line to $400 per line, and will be based on the customer’s credit rating. Full deposit amounts will need to be paid at the time of activation and deposits will be refunded in their entirety after accounts have been in good standing for 12 months.