U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is proving why it was on our own proprietary list of the 7 Safest Large Banks in America. Standard & Poor’s has just raised the bank’s corporate credit rating, something which very few banks can claim (and expect) in the current climate. Today’s rating upgrade went up to “A+” from “A” on its long-term issuer credit rating and it reaffirmed the “A-1″ short-term issuer rating. Its issuer credit rating was also raised to “AA-” from “”A+” on its operating subsidiaries, and its short-term issuer credit rating went up to “A-1+” from “A-1″ today.
S&P said its upgrade is based on the belief that US Bancorp will outperform peers with significant earnings and revenue growth while still maintaining a conservative growth strategy and solid capitalization. If that is not a compliment in today’s regulatory climate then a real compliment is not possible.
S&P’s outlook is now stable as the credit quality should improve with net charge-offs running below that of peers. It is no surprise that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B, BRK-A) holds some 66 million shares, but Team Buffett has slightly lowered that amount in the latest holdings of the Buffett empire.
U.S. Bancorp shares are up 0.3% at $33.21 against a 52-week trading range of $20.10 to $34.10.
JON C. OGG