Morningstar Launches New Analyst Research Center Module for Advisors, Providing Corporate Credit Reports and Ratings on 700 Global Issuers

Launch Coincides with Morningstar's One Year Anniversary of Credit Ratings and Research Business

Dec 16, 2010, 13:58 ET from Morningstar, Inc.

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has launched a new credit research module of its Morningstar® Analyst Research Center(SM), a web-based research portal for financial advisors and other investment professionals.  

The new module provides access to Morningstar's credit reports and ratings on approximately 700 global corporate credit issuers, drawing upon the work of the company's more than 100 credit and equity analysts. The module also includes:

  • Credit reports that provide overviews of a company's creditworthiness,  including forward-looking risk measures derived from Morningstar analysts' five-year cash flow projections;
  • "Highlighted Issuer" reports, which evaluate the outstanding bonds from a single corporate credit issuer and provide detailed analysis on specific bond issues Morningstar's credit research team finds attractive and others to avoid;
  • "Issuer News and Notes" which address recent ratings changes Morningstar has made, along with Morningstar's take on macro-economic trends in the credit investing landscape. The reports review new bond issuances and explore the credit implications of corporate actions such as share repurchases, M&A activity and spin-offs.

"More and more investors are asking their financial advisors for information about fixed-income investments, and now Morningstar provides independent analysis of a corporate bond or issuer's creditworthiness," said Haywood Kelly, senior vice president of securities research for Morningstar. "Our new Analyst Research Center module provides a comprehensive solution for advisors to help guide investors' corporate bond investment decisions."

Morningstar rates and analyzes corporate credit from an objective point of view that's completely independent of debt issuers. Morningstar credit analysts use a consistent approach built on a transparent methodology of four core qualitative and quantitative metrics: business risk, Morningstar® Cash Flow Cushion™, Morningstar® Solvency Score™, and distance to default. Unlike other ratings agencies, Morningstar also identifies bonds its analysts believe may warrant a closer look.

The Morningstar Analyst Research Center provides broker/dealers and other firms with convenient, web-based access to Morningstar's suite of research and ratings. In addition to credit research, the portal also includes research for stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and initial public offerings. Independent advisors can subscribe to Morningstar's research for any of the investment types they choose. Firms may also purchase enterprise-wide licenses for the portal. The credit ratings and reports from the Analyst Research Center will also be available as a module to Morningstar® Advisor Workstation(SM) during 2011.

The launch of the new credit research module coincides with the one-year anniversary of the initiation of Morningstar's corporate credit ratings, which began with ratings of 100 firms and has grown nearly seven-fold over the past year. Morningstar's credit research team has published a report summarizing the first year's key learnings and trends, along with their recommendations on issuances from firms that our analysts find attractive and analysis on ones that are at increased default risk. The report can be found here: http://global.morningstar.com/creditratings2010report.

For more information about the new module or the Analyst Research Center, please visit https://arc.morningstar.com or call 1-866-817-0811.

About Morningstar, Inc.

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of Internet, software, and print-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 370,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. The company has operations in 26 countries.

Media Contact:

Shawn Malayter 312-696-6050, shawn.malayter@morningstar.com



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