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BtoB

S&P lowers credit rating of Dow Jones & Co.

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New York—Standard & Poor’s Rating Services this week lowered its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, to BBB+ from A-. These ratings were removed from CreditWatch with negative implications where they were placed on Oct. 21, 2005.

At the same time, S&P affirmed its A-2 short-term corporate credit and commercial paper ratings on the business publisher. The outlook is negative. Dow Jones had about $470 million in reported outstanding debt in December, according to S&P.

Dow Jones’ reliance on b-to-b advertising continues to be a source of earnings volatility. In 2005, the print publishing segment had substantially lower cash flow, due to a modest decline in advertising revenue, higher newsprint costs and increased costs due to the September launch of the “Weekend Journal.”

—Matthew Schwartz

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