Credit ratings issuers have shown no mercy. COVID-19 continues to ravage the U.S. economy, and issuers believe 109 companies are at risk of defaulting. That represents a 179.5 percent increase from the last report, in which 39 companies were at risk.
For reference, the number of companies to receive distress ratings in 2020 has now surpassed what took most of 2019 to reach. In Oct. 2019, the count was 99 companies; around this time last year, the number was 40.
The companies at risk have received distressed ratings from March through April 14, 2020. S&P defines a distressed rating as an issuer credit rating of B- or lower with a negative outlook. Moody's definition is a corporate family rating of Caa1 or lower with a negative outlook.
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