Standard & Poor’s said Thursday it has placed Hitachi Ltd. on its watch list for a possible downgrading of its long- and short-term credit ratings after the company reduced its earnings forecast for fiscal 2006 through March.

S&P said its decision follows an announcement by Hitachi last week that it will lower its earnings forecast due partly to costs related to repairing turbines at nuclear power plants.

“Although costs associated with investigating and inspecting the turbine problems, near-term repairs and estimates for future repairs have been factored into the lower earnings forecast, we cannot rule out the possibility that the company may be burdened with compensation demands from impacted electric power companies,” S&P credit analyst Fusako Nagao said.

The U.S. rating agency said it will remove the ratings on Hitachi from its watch list after examining a number of factors.

S&P’s long-term rating for Hitachi now stands at A-minus and its short-term rating at A-1.

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