The bottom rung

March 10, 2009 – 22:16:11
Moody’s Investors Service published a list on Tuesday called the Bottom Rung, which details companies that the ratings agency says are most likely to default on their debts. Moody’s estimated that almost half will default on debt in the next year.

The Bottom Rung represents about the riskiest 15 percent of all companies that Moody’s tracks.

To compile the list, Moody’s chose companies with the lowest credit ratings (B3 or below), whose ratings were either negative or under review. Moody’s B3 rating is the 16th lowest out of 21.

Applying this same methodology retroactively to 2008, there would have been 157 companies. Sixty eventually defaulted.

Moody’s list includes 283 companies. Here are a few of particular interest to Decatur-area readers:

Advanced Micro Devices Inc
Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc.
Blockbuster Inc.
Carmike Cinemas Inc.
Charter Communications Inc.
Chrysler LLC
Cumulus Media Inc.
Dole Food Co.
Eastman Kodak Company
Ford Motor Company
Freedom Communications Inc.
GateHouse Media Operating Inc.
General Motors Corporation
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation
MAPCO Express Inc.
MediaNews Group Inc.
Michaels Stores Inc.
Morris Publishing Group LLC
Oriental Trading Company Inc.
Reader’s Digest Association Inc.
Rite Aid Corporation
R.H. Donnelley Corp.
Sirius XM Radio Inc.
Six Flags Inc.
Synagro Technologies Inc.
Wolverine Tube Inc.

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