Fitch Ratings on April 12 lowered its outlook to negative andaffirmed several ratings for Dallas-based ComericaInc., including its long-term issuer default rating of A.
Also affirmed were the company's short-term issuer default ratingof F1, senior shelf rating of A, senior debt rating of A, viability rating of "a,"short-term debt rating of F1, support rating of 5 and support floor of NF.
For subsidiary ComericaBank, the rating agency affirmed its long-term issuer default ratingof A, short-term issuer default rating of F1, subordinated debt rating of A, seniordebt rating of A, long-term deposits rating of A+, viability rating of "a,"short-term deposits rating of F1, support rating of 5 and support floor of NF.
According to the rating agency, the company has a solid and tangiblecapital base, a strong funding profile, proven credit performance through variouscredit cycles and consistent performance. However, Fitch also noted that Comerica'sratings are "sensitive to a prolonged period of low oil prices" due toits relatively larger exposure to the energy industry compared to its large regionalpeers.
The revised outlook reflects asset quality deterioration expectations"and we expect CMA's financial performance will face greater pressure thanother large regional peers given its relatively higher exposure to energy lending,"Fitch said. It also said Comerica's earnings profile "has been weaker and laggedsimilarly rated peers for some time due mainly to the prolonged low rate environment."