RXO and C.H. Robinson Face Ratings Agency Cuts

RXO joins C.H. Robinson and Forward Air as the latest to face debt downgrading.

RXO and C.H. Robinson Face Ratings Agency Cuts

RXO and C.H. Robinson are the latest logistics giants facing debt downgrades amid challenging market conditions. Here's a closer look at the situation:

RXO's Downgrade

  • Downgrade Details: S&P Global Ratings cut RXO’s debt rating from BB+ to BB, two notches below investment-grade. Moody’s kept RXO at investment-grade (Baa3) but with a negative outlook.
  • Financial Health: RXO’s key financial metric, which measures how easily they can pay off their debt, has worsened significantly. Their earnings and cash flow have dropped, making it harder to manage debt.
  • Company Response: RXO highlighted its growing market share despite challenges, stating, “RXO is well-positioned to continue to outperform.” However, S&P noted, “It’s unclear when RXO’s volumes and pricing will materially improve.”
  • Liquidity Measures: RXO increased its revolving credit facility to $600 million to maintain ample liquidity during these challenging times.

C.H. Robinson's Downgrade

  • Downgrade Details: S&P Global Ratings downgraded C.H. Robinson (CHRW) from BBB+ to BBB, citing weak market conditions. The outlook remains stable.
  • Financial Performance: C.H. Robinson’s ability to cover its debt with its current earnings has fallen below the safe threshold. Their profits dropped significantly last year due to several market challenges.
  • Market Challenges: The freight industry faced several headwinds in 2023, including inventory destocking, high inflation, and excess trucking capacity. C.H. Robinson’s adjusted gross profit (AGP) declined 28% to $2.6 billion in 2023.
  • Debt Management: C.H. Robinson is directing cash flow towards debt repayment and has suspended share repurchases since mid-2023 to help improve its financial metrics.

Forward Air

  • Forward Air has also experienced a significant decline, with its debt rating cut by both Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings. The company's challenges stem from the prolonged freight recession and the aftermath of its acquisition of Omni Logistics.
Forward Air Stock: Two Major Downgrades, Loss Above 90%
Forward Air faces major setbacks with a 91% stock decline and debt downgrades from Moody’s and Fitch. Leadership changes and financial woes compound the turmoil.

Sources: FreightWaves, S&P Press Release

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