USAMoody's Investors Service is a rating agency that ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers by rating their debt or other securities using a standardized ratings scale (like Standard & Poor's). They rate common and preferred stock, bonds and commercial paper.Long-term Ratings. The scale for long-term fixed rate obligations with a maturity of one year or more runs from Aaa to C.• investment grade: Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, Aa3, A1, A2, A3, Baa1, Baa2, Baa3 (from highest quality with minimal credit risk to medium-grade with moderate credit risk).• non-investment grade (also referred to as junk): Ba1, Ba2, Ba3, B1, B2, B3, Caa1, Caa2, Caa3, Ca (speculative; from the least degree of speculation with substantial credit risk to the highest degree of speculation and at or near default); C (typically in default).Short-term Ratings. The scale for short-term ratings for securities generally having an original maturity not exceeding thirteen months runs from P-1 to NP.• Prime: P-1, P-2, P-3 (from superior ability to acceptable ability to repay short-term debt obligations).• Not Prime: NP (do not fall within any of the prime rating categories).
Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. www.practicallaw.com. 2010.