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SBC’s Credit Ratings Cut by Moody’s

From Bloomberg News

SBC Communications Inc. had its long-term debt ratings cut one level by Moody’s Investors Service, which said sales and profit declines will continue at least through 2003.

The company’s senior unsecured long-term ratings were reduced to A1, six levels above non-investment grade. About $22 billion of debt is affected. The outlook is stable, Moody’s said.

SBC, which eliminated 17,000 jobs last year, will continue losing local-phone customers to wireless and long-distance competitors and may find it difficult to further trim expenses, Moody’s said. Government regulation and the weak U.S. economy also will crimp San Antonio-based SBC’s growth, Moody’s said.

Shares of SBC declined 71 cents, or 3.3%, to $20.93 on the NYSE.

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