PG&E's shares plunged again on Tuesday.
S&P Global cut the California power company's credit rating to "B" from "BBB-," which is the lowest tier of so-called investment-grade ratings.
S&P cited political and regulatory pressures and uncertainty over PG&E's potential liabilities from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires.
Analysts estimate that could be as much as $30 billion.
Reuters correspondent David French is covering the story:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT DAVID FRENCH, SAYING:
"It's another alarm sounding on the precarious situation that this company finds itself in. It obviously ratcheted up the pressure on politicians and on regulators to try and find a solution, but it also kind of doubles down on that a little bit by restricting the number of investors who could potentially be involved with a market-based financing solution for PG&E."
PG&E's $18 billion in bonds dropped as well, with its largest $3 billion note due in 2034 hitting a record-low bid price.
CFRA's analyst Christopher Muir:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CFRA RESEARCH, EQUITY ANALYST, CHRISTOPHER MUIR, SAYING:
"The total liabilities could exceed the total enterprise value of the company. And, you know, that definitely is one reason that investors should stay away from the stock at this point. You know, of course, the legislators could turn around, and bail the company out and that would, obviously, be a great thing for the company, and would help it stay afloat. But even even in that case, I think, the legislators and regulators are likely to say, 'hey, you know, the shareholders should take a hit."
The news of the downgrade comes one day after PG&E's stock dropped on reports that it's exploring filing for bankruptcy protection.