Microsoft is now one among the 3 companies in the US that have AAA rating from S&P. The AAA rating is awarded for those companies with the utmost financial strength and discipline in meeting all obligations. As Automatic Data Processing was stripped of AAA credit rating, Microsoft and two other U.S. companies is now holding the coveted AAA rating from S&P. The other two companies on this list are Johnson & Johnson and Exxon-Mobil.
The number of companies with the top-credit rating has been dwindling for years. Back in 1980, there were more than 60 U.S. companies rated AAA by S&P. That fell to six in 2008. Since then, industrial company General Electric, drugmaker Pfizer and now ADP have been downgraded.
Some companies find ways to pull themselves back into the top credit level. Food company Kellogg, was downgraded to AA+ on Dec. 12, 1984, but managed to work its way back to AAA by July 15, 1987, S&P says.