The rating is a judgment that is expressed by a rating agency, an external and independent subject, on the ability of the analyzed company to pay its debts. The judgment is expressed in the form of an alphanumeric abbreviation which represents a summary assessment of the credit risk profile of the company derived on the basis of the available quantitative and qualitative information of the analyzed company. 

The three main rating agencies worldwide are: Moody'sStandard & Poor's e Fitch. Each of them has a slightly different rating system, usually AAA is the highest rating and all ratings below B refer to high risk bonds, the so-called "junk bonds". D refers to obligations whose issuers are in default (bankruptcy).

 

   MOODY'S
 S&P
 FITCH
 DBRS*

 

Prime rate

 

 

AAA

 

AAA

 

AAA

 

AAA

High grade 

Aa1 AA+  AA+  AA h
Aa2 AA  AA AA
Aa3 AA-  AA-  AA l

Upper medium grade

 

 A1  A+  A+  A h
 A2  A  A  A
 A3  A-  A-  A l

Lower medium grade

 

 Baa1 BBB+ BBB+ BBB h
 Baa2 BBB BBB BBB
 Baa3 BBB- BBB- BBB l
Non-investment grade speculative 
 Ba1 BB+ BB+ BB h
 Ba2 BB BB BB
 Ba3 BB- BB- BB l

 

Highly speculative 

 B1 B+ B+ B h
 B2 B B B
 B3 B- B- B l
Substancial risk  Caa1 CCC+

 

 

 

C

CCC h

Extremely speculative  Caa2 CCC CCC

Default imminent     

 Caa3 CCC- CCC l

 

 

Ca

 

CC

CC h
CC
CC l

 

C

C h
C
C l

Default 


 

C

 

D

DDD

 

D

DD
D

 

* L = low H = high

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_rating