(Bloomberg) -- A Morningstar Inc. analyst reiterated his top rating for Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Total Return Fund, the world’s largest bond fund.

The research firm today kept its gold rating for Bill Gross’s $236 billion Total Return Fund, a day after reducing Newport Beach, California-based Pimco’s stewardship grade and one of the components of the analyst rating that looks at the priorities of the firm. Analyst ratings are qualitative, and different from Morningstar’s five-star rating system, which is based on risk-adjusted returns.

“All of its pros and cons still add up to a world-class offering and a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold,” Morningstar analyst Eric Jacobson wrote about Pimco Total Return today.

Pimco funds may be affected by yesterday’s downgrades as analysts reassess their individual ratings on a case-by-case basis, Chicago-based Morningstar said at the time. The firm provides data on about 446,000 investment offerings, including 155,000 mutual funds.

Pimco Total Return, which lost its title as the world’s largest mutual fund in October, declined 0.5% in the 12 months through yesterday, trailing 80% of rivals and underperforming the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This year, the fund has advanced 1.9%, lagging behind 51% of peers.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.