According to S&P, the downgrade to double A plus reflected the ballooning of Exxon’s debt and analyst views that the largest US oil group and fourth-largest publicly traded American company would have to increase capital expenditure in the coming years to maintain production.
The downgrade from S&P leaves just two publicly traded US companies with triple A ratings: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.
Prior to the downgrade, Exxon had held its triple A status since 1930,
Exxon said in a statement: “Nothing has changed in terms of the company’s financial philosophy or prudent management of its balance sheet.”
It added that it “places a high value on its strong credit position” and was focused on creating long-term shareholder value “despite near-term market volatility”.