Bloomberg News

S&P Says U.S. Downgrade Doesn’t Affect AAA Rated J&J, Microsoft

August 08, 2011

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor’s said the decision to strip the U.S. of its AAA rating won’t affect companies in the country that carry the top grade.

Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc., the four U.S.-based non- financial companies rated AAA, will retain the highest rating, S&P said in a statement today. The companies are expected to pay their debts even if the U.S. defaults.

Exxon, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft are strong financially and depend less on the U.S. than other companies do because they get much of their income from international markets, S&P said.

While ADP earns most of its profits domestically, demand for its products has held up well and it relies little on the public sector and is diversified, according to the statement.

--Editors: Richard Bedard, Pierre Paulden

To contact the reporter on this story: Zeke Faux in New York at zfaux@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net.


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