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Moody’s Downgrades Toshiba’s Credit Rating

Nov. 9, 2015
Just days after Toshiba reports a $730 million operating loss for the last six months (its first in a six-month period since 2009), Moody's downgrades its rating and gives the company a negative outlook.

TOKYO — Moody’s downgraded the credit rating of embattled electronics giant Toshiba on Monday, days after the conglomerate announced deep mid-year operating losses late last week.

The agency slashed the Japanese company’s rating from Baa2 to Baa3 and also changed Toshiba’s outlook from stable to negative.

“The rating action was prompted by Toshiba’s announcement of its (first six months’) results, which indicated that profitability and cash flow generation have both declined materially,” Masako Kuwahara, a Moody’s senior analyst, said in a statement. “The negative outlook reflects our ongoing concerns over the company’s operations and ability to sustainably reduce its current high leverage, as well as restructure its operations in a sustainable and profitable manner.”

The downgrade came after Toshiba announced its whopping operating loss on Saturday: 90 billion yen ($729.60 million) for six months to September. The firm cited deterioration of its PC and appliances businesses, while its mainstay microchip business faced falling prices that also pressured profits.

The operating loss — its first in six years for the first half — compares to a year-earlier profit of 137.8 billion yen ($1.12 billion).

Toshiba is also entangled with what is considered to be one of the most damaging accounting scandals to hit Japan in recent years. The company said Saturday it sued five former executives for damages over their alleged roles in the huge accounting scandal.

The announcement came as the 140-year-old company attempts to restore its reputation following a billion-dollar profit-padding scandal, stemming from top executives pressuring underlings to systematically inflate financial figures for years.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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