Moody's cheerfully performs the dismal science. The company provides credit ratings, research, credit risk management, and other services through its two primary segments, Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics. Moody's Investors Service publishes credit ratings on more than 125,000 commercial and government entities in some 110 countries. – mehr...Moody's Analytics, the cornerstone of which is Moody's KMV, sells credit risk management tools and provides portfolio management and training services for financial institutions. The company's famous letter ratings (ranging from "Aaa" to "C") were invented by John Moody in 1909 and are still used today.
In the years following the global financial crisis Moody's products and services have been in high demand as customers seek to manage risk by gaining credit information. When the global market fell into turmoil in 2008 and 2009, Moody's strategy was to adjust for expected reductions in revenues while positioning itself to benefit from an eventual recovery in credit market activity.
In order to cope with the shifting market, the company has focused on developing more sophisticated risk analysis tools as investors demand better data surrounding structured financial products. Another key strategy is to expand and finesse its international offerings to keep up with growing global markets.
Despite ongoing turmoil in the markets, Moody's reported good earnings in 2011. That year, both revenue and net income was up by more than 12% each. Moody's Investors Service (which accounts for about 70% of revenues) and Moody's Analytics (30%) grew that year.
Some of Moody's growth can be attributed to acquisitions. The company has invested in building up operations. Recent purchases have boosted capabilities in credit training, economic research, data services, and structured finance analysis and monitoring software. In 2010 Moody's Analytics broadened its product offering with the acquisition of CSI Global Education in Canada. The company provides financial learning, credentials and certifications. Moody's also acquired Copal Partners in India and Barrie & Hibbert in the UK in 2011. The two acquisitions helped expand Moody's Analytics international reach.
The company is eyeing new opportunities in emerging markets such as China, eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Moody's Analytics has launched credit scoring for private companies in Russia and China.
In addition to growth, Moody's is focused on adapting to changes within its industry. The company, along with other rating agencies, are dealing with tightened regulation following the financial crisis. Governments are putting stricter limits on rating agencies after finding mistakes on ratings of mortgage securities, which led to the crisis.
Moody's was spun off from Dun & Bradstreet in 2000. Investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway controls about 13% of Moody's. – Weniger