23 September 2008

MSFT: New Debt Rated AAA

In January, we noted that the number of non-financial companies with AAA bond ratings had dropped to 5.  The change occurred when Standard & Poor's reduced the credit rating of United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) a notch.

Ironically, in the midst of great financial upheaval, a sixth member has been admitted to the club.  Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) short-term debt and commercial paper received the highest S&P rating, according to BusinessWeek, on 22 September 2008.

Microsoft simultaneously established a program under which they may issue up to $2 billion of commercial paper.  They also opened a $2 billion revolving credit facility.  Microsoft's board authorized as much as $6 billion worth of debt.

Microsoft has no long-term debt.  See our latest analysis for more details.

If that wasn't enough, Microsoft also initiated a new $40 billion share repurchase program, and the company increased its quarterly dividend by 18 percent.

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