17 January 2003 23:43 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Moody's Investors Service Friday downgraded Schering-Plough's (S-P) long-term credit rating due in part to the drop in Claritin revenues after the drug was switched to the over-the-counter market from prescription sales.
The corporate credit watchdog also cited two other reasons for the S-P downgrade from Aa2 to A1 - uncertain prospects for Clarinex in the prescription antihistamine market and potential competition for the Intron-A franchise and for Remicade.
Moody's said all three factors put Schering-Plough at a heightened operating risk, saying they would result in a weaker and more variable cash flow from operations and that free cash flow could therefore be negative in future years.
Other reasons for the downgrade, Moody's said, were the company's lagging share price and upcoming changes in senior leadership.
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