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Moody’s boosts Ford credit rating

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Moody’s boosts Ford credit rating

03/17/2010, 5:12 PMBY ANDREW GANZ

Moody’s Investor Service says it has taken note of Ford Motor Company’s recent sales gains and its strides toward long term profitability. As a result, it has upgraded the automaker’s credit rating to B2 from B3.

The automaker’s secured credit has seen a boost from Ba3 to Ba2, while its unsecured debt rating is up to B3 from Caa1. Ford Credit, the automaker’s lending arm, increased from B2 to B1.

“Ford clearly has a much more robust and competitive business model that is capable of supporting significant improvement in performance over time,” said Bruce Clark, senior vice president of Moody’s, in a statement released to the media. “The key issue we’re assessing is the degree to which this pace of improvement could be delayed by things like a slowdown in demand, or an escalating use of incentives by competitors.”

Moody’s says that, although Ford’s debt levels are still high and its credit metrics are weak, the automaker is expected to improve its current position and increase its reserves within the next 18 months. Moody’s predicts that it will further upgrade Ford at its next review, at which time it says it will take into account its product renewal cycle after 2011.



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