Blackwell Library

 

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Subject Guide: Business Credit Ratings

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This guide lists sources which provide information and access to company & industry credit ratings. 

For further information & assistance in using any of the sources listed, please contact our reference staff:

  • In person, at the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor of the Blackwell Library


  • By phone @ 410-548-5988

  • Through e-mail, using Ask-a-Librarian


Getting Started:

InvestorWords.com
What do all those financial terms mean?  This financial glossary, sponsored by WSJ, provides over 6,000 terms which can be browsed by subject or letter OR searched by keyword.


Key Sources:

Gale Business Insights: Essentials  [10 seats shared with consortium]
 Provides Investext reports researched by leading stock analysts.  Off-campus, sign in using your Gull Card barcode and last name.  Choose Salisbury University as the campus and then click the log in button. 

  • Click on the 'Company' icon from the main screen.

  • Enter the company name or ticker symbol, choose 'ultimate parent', and click the 'search' button at the bottom of the screen.

  • Click your company name on the results list.
  • At the top of the screen are various tabs to company information--choose 'Investment Reports'.
  • Review reports which vary based on the investment firm; some reports provide ratings with explanations.

Mergent Bond Record
Reference HG 4651 .M62 2004-

Look up your company/organization in the Corporate Bonds section (or under other issue types).  Ratings for your company will be listed from Aaa Aa A, Baa Ba B, to Caa Ca C.  The explanation of ratings is found in the front of the book.

Morningstar
Off-campus, sign in using your Gull Card barcode and last name.  Choose SU as the campus and then click the log-in button.

Find a stock or fund to meet your needs, research current or prospective holdings or see how your investments work together.  Morningstar's data reports cover more than 20,000 securities.  Historical data back to 1996.

To find a credit rating:

  • In the middle of the screen, under 'Reports', enter a ticker or name and click on the 'Go' button.

  • When the screen for your specific company is located, click on the 'Snapshot' link on the left tool/menu bar.

Standard & Poor's - Credit Ratings
Free credit ratings information provided after a free registration process.

  • Click on "Find a Rating" on the left toolbar.

  • Next, "Credit Ratings Search."

  • You will be asked for your ID and password.  Click on the register link at the bottom  if this is your first time using the source. 

  • Enter organization or fund name.

  • Ratings are provided for S&P companies only.

  • To get an explanation of the ratings used, click on the link on the left toolbar to "Standard and Poor's Rating Definitions."

Standard & Poor's Research Insight Database
*Access in the labs or in the library on campus only

To run a Company Highlights Report which will include S&P Credit Ratings:

  • Click on the Company Highlights Report button (4th button on the left toolbar).
  • When the run assistant box appears, type in the ticker symbol of the company in the 'Companies' text box & click on the 'OK' button at the bottom.

  • S&P ratings will be listed on the left in the center of the report.
  • To locate explanations for the ratings, use the pull-down menu under 'Help' at the top of the screen and choose 'Data and Reference'.  When the indexes appear, click on the 'Find' tab and enter the term 'rating'.  When the results list appears, choose 'Short-term Issuer Credit Rating' and 'Long-term Issuer Credit Rating'.
  • Note:  1-3 ratings are assigned per company.

ValueLine Database
Includes a summary/index and 11 editions which are updated on a rotating basis (each edition is never more than 3 months old).  Each edition covers specific industries and provides an industry overview, trends, and a company by company analysis of key players.  Provides 'Company's Financial Strength' at the bottom right of the PDF/loose-leaf page.

This database is only available in the Blackwell Library Reference Area.  Ask the reference staff to sign you on.  

  • Click on the link to 'The ValueLine Investment Survey Online - Standard Edition.
  • On the left toolbar, click on the link to 'Lookup Company'.

  • Type in your company name or ticker symbol.  (Note:  This version of ValueLine only covers 1700 stocks in 98 industries so all companies are not covered)
  • On the results list, click on the PDF report.

Want to learn more regarding how to read and interpret the reports?  See 'How to Use the Value Line Investment Survey Page.'

        ValueLine Survey: Standard Edition Loose-leaf
                    Reference HG 4915 .V35

Note: Provides the exact same information as is available in the ValueLine Database above.

  • See volume 1, summary and index in the front, and look up the name of your company. 
  • It will refer you to a page number in one of 13 editions.
  • See industry information in that edition, followed by evaluations of each company covered.

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