Credit Ratings
Standard Reports
In-depth quantitative analysis of financial management, economic conditions, and demographics.
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Standard Reports


The Scorecard is S&B’s fundamental Standard Rating Report. It provides the key figures and ratios that contribute to the S&B Rating determination. A synopsis of the security backing the payment of the bonds is also given. The Scorecard includes a single-page table displaying the essential financial analysis, or the Primary Rating Components. The report also includes a summary economic analysis, known as the Local Economic Performance Report, for each issuer’s respective county.


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The S&B Basic Report begins with the same components as the S&B Scorecard Report. Additionally, it includes a page of the bulleted strength and weakness indicators that contribute to the credit rating assigned by S&B. These indicators focus primarily on financial performance. Additionally, significant tax base, revenue capacity, or economic information may be included as they relate to the rating determination. The relative number of strength and weakness indicators will vary based on the rating score.


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The S&B Detailed Report includes all of the features of the S&B Basic Report as well as a detailed written analysis. This analysis is the centerpiece of S&B’s Municipal Bond Rating reporting. S&B expands upon the financial and economic data included in the report in narrative form and comments on any supplemental information that might contribute to the rating. Even more than the bulleted strengths and weaknesses, this narrative provides the bondholder with the logic behind the S&B rating determination and the many extenuating factors that are weighed together to this end.


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S&B provides two types of rating reports, Standard Reports and Priority Reports. S&B’s Standard Rating Reports involve a manual spread of data and provide a more thorough reporting. Priority Reports are designed to meet shorter deadlines and provide summary rating information. Each rating type has its own analytical model. S&B implements its Municipal Bond Rating Program analytical model in the determination of Standard municipal credit ratings. Every municipal issuer* undergoes the same process and spread of data to ensure that these ratings are as consistent as possible.

The model analyzes financial data input by S&B from the annual audited financial statements released by the issuer. Financial ratio and trend calculations are scored according to thresholds and are weighed together to generate the financial management score for the municipality. S&B believes that financial management, the capacity of the municipality to generate revenues and moderate expenses in response to changes in revenues and other resources, is the best indication of whether there is an increased risk it will default, or fail to make its payments of principal and interest on the bonds each year. The financial management score results in a base rating of S&B 1, S&B 2, S&B 3, or S&B 4. A rating of S&B 1 indicates a low risk of default, while a rating of S&B 4 demonstrates a higher risk of default and credit impairment.

Additionally, S&B incorporates gradation adjustments. These adjustments include the overall trend in financial management, economic performance (state and county), pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) performance, and ability to pay debt service. Depending upon the strength or weakness of each gradation adjustment, the cumulative effect of these adjustments can cause the financial management base score to increase or decrease by zero, one, or two gradations (+/‐) in either direction. The result is a dynamic rating. The Standard Rating Reports document the strength and impact of these gradation adjustments on the overall score. Additionally, the analyst may override the model rating based on extenuating factors found in the financial statements.

*Excluding non-GAAP financial reporting




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