Nissan Motor Co. shares
fell sharply Wednesday morning after its credit rating was cut to speculative grade by S&P Global Ratings. The shares were recently 3.1% lower at 548.0 yen after falling as much as 3.5% in earlier trade. The Nikkei Stock Average
was recently up 0.3%.
S&P on Tuesday lowered its long-term issuer credit ratings on Nissan by one notch to BB+ from BBB-, moving it from the lowest level of investment grade to speculative grade, often referred to as “junk” status. The rating company said that Nissan’s profit margin and sales volume, which have been weak over the past couple of years, were unlikely to improve soon to the levels that the rating company had previously assumed. S&P also said it remains uncertain on whether Nissan will be able to secure a foothold in the rapidly growing global electric-vehicle market. Moody’s Investors Service rates Nissan at Baa3, the lowest investment-grade rating, with a stable outlook. Japan’s Rating and Investment Information Inc. has an A rating with a negative outlook. In February, Nissan lowered its forecast for global car sales for the fiscal year ending in March to 3.4 million vehicles from its previous view of 3.7 million, citing a shortage of chips. Nissan then kept its fiscal-year revenue and net-profit forecasts unchanged. It projected revenue to increase 29% to Y10.900 trillion ($79.48 b …