S&P, Fitch rate new Boeing notes investment-grade

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 5:18 PM

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings said Tuesday they would assign investment-grade ratings to Boeing Co.'s proposed offering of $1.2 billion in senior unsecured notes.

S&P said it assigned its A rating to the notes, while Fitch said it expects to assign A+ ratings under its ratings scale.

Chicago-based Boeing, the world's second-largest commercial aircraft maker after Europe's Airbus, plans to issue the notes in two tranches, due in 2012 and 2016. Fitch said it expects proceeds from the notes will be used to increase liquidity, and for general corporate purposes.

Despite their investment-grade ratings on the offering, both ratings agencies cited concerns about development delays for Boeing's new 787 jetliner, which is more than two years behind schedule. The delays have cost Boeing credibility and billions of dollars in anticipated expenses and fines.