An earlier version of this report said a downgrade would put the issuer into junk status. It has been corrected.
S&P Global Ratings said Monday it is placing Kraft Heinz Inc.’s KHC, -0.69% BBB rating on review for a possible downgrade that would lower the food giant’s ratings closer to speculative, or “junk,” status. The company’s BBB rating is two rungs above investment grade. The move comes after Kraft Heinz failed to file its 2018 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission by its due date, which was extended to March 14 at the end of February. It also follows “a series of negative developments over the last several quarters, including operational shortfalls that accelerated in the second half of 2018, the large fourth-quarter $15.4 billion goodwill and intangible charge-off, and disclosure of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into the company’s accounting policies, procedures, and internal controls related to its procurement function,” S&P said in a release. The ratings agency expects to resolve the issue following a review of the 10-K and first quarter of 2019. “It is likely that a downgrade would be limited to one notch, unless particularly negative information is uncovered,” said the release. Shares were slightly lower premarket, but have fallen 50.9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.41% has gained 2.6%.
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