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These ratings can be revised, suspended or withdrawn at any time by the respective rating agency.
Standard & Poor's
An obligor rated "A" has a strong capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories.
Bonds and preferred stock which are rated "A" possess many favourable investment attributes and are to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations. Factors giving security to principal and interest are considered adequate, but elements may be present which suggest a susceptibility to impairment may be present at some time in the future.
High credit quality. "A" ratings indicate a low expectation of credit risk. The capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to changes in circumstances or in economic conditions than in the case of higher ratings.
Moody's assigns numeric modifiers 1, 2 and 3 to each generic ratings classification from Aa through B. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Standard & Poor's applies a plus (+) or minus (-) sign in categories AA through CCC to show relative standing within the major rating categories. Fitch applies these same signs from the AAA category.