Moody's lifts outlook on AutoNation to 'stable'

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 5:04 PM

Moody's Investors Service has lifted its outlook on AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest automotive retailer, encouraged by its improving credit profile.

Moody's changed its outlook to "Stable" from "Negative" for the company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Moody's also affirmed its "Ba1" corporate family and probability of default ratings and its "SGL-2" speculative grade liquidity rating.

Its "Ba1" rating reflects AutoNation's position as the largest auto retailer in the U.S., as well as solid liquidity and credit metrics, Moody's said.

The "SGL-2" speculative grade liquidity rating reflects Moody's expectation that AutoNation will be able to fund the majority of its operating cash flow requirements out of internally generated cash and only minimal reliance on its revolving credit facility.

Shares of the company rose 46 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close at $18.06.