Moody's downgrades Harsco's ratings

NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service downgraded Harsco Corp. Thursday on the belief that weaker demand could hurt its earnings potential.

Harsco, based in Camp Hill, Pa., provides industrial services and engineered products to clients, such as materials handling or granules for asphalt roofing shingles. The company relies heavily on non-residential construction and infrastructure spending.

Moody's believes demand from these markets will remain weak into next year, which could hinder earnings relative to debt service requirements.

The rating agency lowered the company's senior unsecured ratings one notch to "Ba1" from "Baa3", moving its rating from investment grade to junk status. In addition Moody's assigned the company a "Ba1" corporate family rating. The outlook is stable.

Harsco shares rose 20 cents to $24.74 in afternoon trading.