S&P Global Ratings on March 4 revised its outlook on Verizon Communications Inc. to stable from positive and on AT&T Inc. to negative from stable.
The outlook revisions reflect the increase in leverage from the companies' purchase of spectrum licenses in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's recent C-band spectrum auction.
The rating agency affirmed all of its ratings on the U.S. telecom carriers, including issuer credit ratings of BBB+ for Verizon and BBB for AT&T.
On the same day it was revealed that Verizon spent more than $45 billion on mid-band wireless spectrum, the company said it entered into a $25.0 billion loan credit agreement with two banks.
AT&T was the second-biggest spender, paying $23.41 billion for 1,621 licenses, while T-Mobile spent $9.34 billion for 142 licenses.
The stable outlook on Verizon reflects the rating agency's view that steady results from wireless operations should contribute to low single-digit percent earnings growth over the next couple of years."
The negative outlook on AT&T reflects "heighted risk that financial results could remain weak in 2021," S&P Global Ratings said.
This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.