AT&T (T) and Verizon Communications (VZ) have become riskier credit propositions, according to Standard & Poor's, which lowered both companies' ratings on Monday.

S&P cut the two largest U.S. telephone companies' credit ratings to "A-" from "A," the Associated Press reported. Verizon had held its "A" rating, which is five notches below the top "AAA" rating, since 2005, while AT&T had maintained its "A" rating since 2004. Both companies were removed from S&P's "CreditWatch" list.

The ratings service cited long-term debt as the reason for the cut. By the end of September, Verizon had cut its long-term debt to $47.4 billion from $55.1 billion at the end of last year, while AT&T had reduced its long-term debt to $62.5 billion from $64.7 billion.

But S&P says the companies will likely have a hard time reduce their long-term debt further -- in spite of growth in their wireless businesses -- because of increased competition for revenue from cable television and other telecommunication services.

AT&T shares fell 0.7% to $28.30 on the news, while Verizon shares remained flat at $32.89.

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S&P rated the bonds in my retirement savings as AAA. And they were Junk. Abd they were bribed. NOthing has changed. NO one got charged nor even lost their bonus (s).ATT & VERIZON should know who to bribe at Standard & Poor. They are all trained in the same business school. Get together with someone else from HARVARD BUusiness School and do biz which is fraudulently swindling the citizen on behalf of a small group of greed balls with no loyalty to anything at all but what ever moeny they can accumulate. How can anyone still be fooled?

December 13 2010 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply