Fitch Ratings boosted its rating outlook for Flowserve Corp. on Friday citing the pump making and fluid handling company's low leverage, good operating performance and other factors.
The Chicago ratings agency increased its outlook to "positive" from "stable" and affirmed the issuer default rating and secured debt at BB+.
The ratings could eventually be upgraded if Flowserve generates consistent financial results on lower sales levels and controls spending for acquisitions and share repurchases, Fitch said.
Dean Freeman, Flowserve's treasurer and vice president of finance, said in an e-mail the company is pleased that Fitch recognized the company's "continued financial discipline and management performance over the past several years."
Flowserve's credit is strong enough "to leave room for some deterioration in earnings, cash flow and leverage following historically strong results through most of 2008," Fitch said.
Flowserve, based in Irving, Texas, also is focused on maintaining a strong balance sheet that will help it compete for projects, Fitch said.
The company's shares fell 43 cents to end Friday at $101.57.