I had an amateurish bond question regarding a situation at a nameless fortune 500 recently. They had started cutting their CAPEX budgets, restructuring and laying off employees, their stock price started plummeting, and then not too much after that their bond ratings were cut.
My question is how informed are large corporations about their bond ratings? I know ratings agencies will typically put them on "review for downgrade" but how much inside information do the companies typically have?
Do corporate management get an advanced notice that they are going to be downgraded? Or is this considered privileged information that has to be released on the market at the same time? Or perhaps it really doesn't matter since the market anticipates their bonds will be downgraded and reprices them before it occurs?