NEW YORK: Standard & Poor's, the ratings agency, has downgraded both Time Warner and Time Warner Cable's shares after the formal separation of the two companies.

As previously reported, Time Warner posted a $16 billion (€12.1bn; £11.3bn) loss in Q4 last year, and with online and cable television predicted to be the only areas to enjoy meaningful growth in 2009, Standard & Poor's has now cut the media giant's share rating to BBB, two steps above "junk".

In particular, it argued that the company had lost its "most predictable source of growth" after the divestment of Time Warner Cable.

This was a particular problem, according to analyst Deborah Kinzer, as Time Warner was even more exposed to the "volatile performance of filmed entertainment, as well as to continuing underperformance at AOL and publishing."

The ratings company also cited Time Warner Cable's debt level as the reason for the downgrade of the country's second-biggest cable operator, after Comcast, to a similar level of BBB.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff