The worst oil crash in a generation has cost Exxon Mobil Corp. the gold-plated credit rating it had held since the Great Depression.
Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday stripped Exxon of its highest AAA measure of credit-worthiness, cutting it to AA+, the same as the U.S. government. It’s a defeat for Exxon, which sought to retain the rating after S&P placed it on notice in February. Before the downgrade, Exxon shared the distinction with just two other companies: Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft Corp.
“Nothing has changed in terms of the company’s financial philosophy or prudent management of its balance sheet,” Scott Silvestri, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. “Exxon Mobil places a high value on its strong credit position and continues to be focused on creating long-term shareholder value despite near-term market volatility.”
The downgrade is another blow to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson’s…