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Upgrade

1. An improvement to an existing product. Some companies, especially technology companies, offer upgrades to customers for free or at a discount.

2. An improvement to the quality of securities in a portfolio. For example, one may sell a stock with a given risk and return and buy another stock with a higher return at the same level of risk. Alternatively, a security may upgrade by itself; for example, its issuer may announce higher than expected earnings, and, therefore, a higher dividend.

3. An increase in a bond rating. For example, if a bond goes from a junk rating to an investment-grade rating, the bond is said to be upgraded. This usually occurs when the issuer reduces its exposure to one or more risks.

upgrade

to replace an existing COMPUTER system (HARDWARE and/or SOFTWARE) by a more powerful model capable of processing data faster or storing larger amounts of data. When upgrading, computer users can experience problems of compatibility with existing programs and machines.
References in periodicals archive ?
Paul Port Authority state lease obligations for state office buildings upgraded to 'AA+' from 'AA'
New York Local Government Assistance Corporation (LGAC) bonds upgraded to 'AA-' from 'A+';
27,041,000 class F-FL notes upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB-';
20,506,000 class E notes upgraded to 'A' from 'BBB';