Fitch Ratings affirmed General Electric Co.’s
BBB+ credit rating, and negative outlook, saying that the “mix of developments” over the past couple months, including a report from a noted whistleblower alleging financial improprieties, “has not substantially altered” its base-case for the company. At Fitch, a BBB+ rating is just 3 notches above speculative grade, or “junk” status. The rating agency last affirmed the rating and negative outlook, which warns of a downgrade, in June. Fitch said that while the whistleblower’s report about concerns about liabilities at GE’s long-term care insurance business, value of Baker Hughes a GE Co.
working capital, GE Power and the aircraft engine and leasing businesses are valid topics of discussion regarding GE’s credit profile, Fitch said it did not agree with many of the report’s conclusions. “Fitch already considers these topics in its ratings for GE, and some are highlighted as risks supporting the current negative rating outlook,” Fitch said. GE’s stock gained 0.4% in morning trading. It has hiked up 11.1% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has gained 11.5%.
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