Ratings

 

FITCH: AA+

MOODY'S: Aa1

S&P: AA

Bond ratings are an independent opinion of the general creditworthiness of an obligor, such as the Commonwealth, based on relevant risk factors.

Ratings are based on an issuer's ability to repay fully the principal and interest of its short-term or long-term debt obligations on a timely basis. When it goes to market to sell bonds or notes, Debt Management usually asks the three largest rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Services, and Standard & Poor's, to assign the security it is selling with a rating.

Ratings are expressed by a letter grade symbol, such as 'AAA', at the time a bond or note is sold. These ratings are monitored and updated throughout the life of that security to reflect changes in the issuer's credit position. The rating scale for investment grade bonds starts at 'AAA' and goes through 'BBB', with 'AAA' being the highest rating reflecting the strongest creditworthiness and 'BBB' representing the lowest or weakest in terms of credit strength.

In general, rating agencies assign a GO rating based on four main factors: the issuer's economy, the issuer's financial position, the issuer's current/future debt burden and pension liabilities, and management. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts current GO bond ratings are:

Current Massachusetts General Obligation Credit Ratings

Type of Security

Fitch

Moody's

Standard & Poor's

General Obligation Bonds

AA+

Aa1

AA

Short-Term General Obligation Notes

F1+

MIG 1

SP-1+

Commonwealth Transportation Bonds N/A Aa1 Aaa
Grant Anticipation Notes N/A Aa2 AAA
Gas Tax Bonds AA Aa1 AAA
Convention Center Bonds N/A A1 A

The Commonwealth is currently covered by the following analysts:

Contacts of Rating Analysts

Coverage Analyst Name Contact Info
Doug Offerman

Fitch Ratings
(212) 908-0889
douglas.offerman@fitchratings.com

John Sugden

Standard & Poor’s
(212) 438-1678
john.sugden@spglobal.com

Genevieve Nolan Moody’s
(212) 553-3912
genevieve.nolan@moodys.com

 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL OBLIGATION RATING HISTORY
DATE MOODY'S INVESTOR'S SERVICE STANDARD & POOR'S FITCH RATINGS RATING CHANGE
Jun-17 Aa1 AA AA+ Downgrade
Sep-11 Aa1 AA+ AA+ Upgrade
Feb-11 Aa1 Oulook Positive AA+  
Apr-10 Aa1 AA AA+ Upgrade
Sep-09 Aa2 AA AA  
May-09 Aa2 AA AA  
Feb-09 Aa2 AA AA  
Sep-08 Aa2 AA AA  
Aug-08 Aa2 AA AA  
Jul-07 Aa2 AA AA  
Jul-06 Aa2 AA AA  
Jul-05 Aa2 AA AA Upgrade
Mar-05 Aa2 AA AA- Upgrade
Jan-00 Aa2 AA- AA- Upgrade
Apr-98 Aa3 AA- AA- Upgrade
Jan-98 A1 AA- AA- Upgrade
Oct-97 A1 AA- A+ Upgrade
Nov-94 A1 A+ A+ Upgrade
Oct-93 A A+ A+ Upgrade
Sep-92 A A A Upgrade
Mar-90 Baa BBB A Downgrade
Dec--89 Baa1 BBB A Downgrade
Nov-89 Baa1 A A Downgrade
Sep-89 A A A  
Jul-89 A A Downgrade
Jun-89 A AA- Downgrade
May-89 Aa AA Downgrade
Feb-88 Aa AA+ Upgrade
Jun-84 A1 AA Upgrade
May-80 A1 AA- Downgrade
Aug-75 A1 AA  
Jun-75 A1 Downgrade
May-70 Aa