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Alphabet was upgraded one notch to double-A plus by credit rating agency S&P Global on Wednesday, putting the owner of the Google search engine and Android operating system a single notch below the highest triple-A opinion.
Analysts with S&P said the move reflected the company’s dominance in both desktop and mobile phone advertising markets and its conservative financial strategies. S&P maintained a stable outlook on the company.
“The ratings upgrade reflects Alphabet’s consistently strong operating performance, despite a challenging and evolving digital advertising market, while it continues to maintain a conservative financial policy and strong liquidity profile,” said David Tsui, an analyst with S&P.
Alphabet is an infrequent borrower in corporate debt markets, with long-term debt of roughly $4bn on its balance sheet.
The pristine triple-A rating has become something of an endangered species after the financial crisis, with only two publicly traded US companies holding the highest rating from S&P: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. US oil group ExxonMobil was stripped of its long-held triple-A rating last year.