Standard & Poor's Ratings Service has lowered Sony's long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings to 'BBB+' from 'A-'. (What? Can't fit in any more B's in there?)
The rating service's decision is based on its pessimistic outlook of Sony's possible recovery and improvement in their electronics sales, citing that Sony's TV business has been in the red since fiscal year 2004. They have even threatened a lower credit rating if they don't see a "meaningful sign of a recovery in Sony's earnings within six to 12 months".
Most concerning for them is Sony's aggressive expansion "despite strong competition, a massive erosion of prices, and its high cost structure compared with overseas competitors", particularly "Korean manufacturers and emerging Chinese companies".
Hopefully, Sony's US launch of the PS Vita this month will help steer the company's profits into the right direction, though S&P is primarily focused on the company's TV sales: "We may consider lowering the ratings on Sony if we see a likelihood of weak performance in the TV business leading to another net loss in fiscal 2012."