Moody’s Investors Services upgraded Brunswick Corp on Friday from Ba3 to B1. The ratings agency said that “significant enhancements in its operating performance and credit metrics” prompted the upgrade. Standard & Poor’s also upgraded Brunswick on April 13.
"We believe that the continuing demand for pontoon and aluminum boats, the increasing age of licensed boats and fewer used boats for sale will help drive demand for new fiberglass boats in the future," said Kevin Cassidy, senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Service, in a statement. "Brunswick's improved cost structure, commitment to debt repayment and stabilizing marine demand trends have led to a meaningful improvement in earnings and credit metrics.”
Cassidy also rated Brunswick’s outlook as stable. “The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that marine demand trends will improve in the year ahead and that Brunswick will continue to maintain very strong liquidity,” said the statement. “Moody's expects that Brunswick will expand on its cost efficiency efforts as needed and will continue to reduce debt with free cash flow.”
But Cassidy did not expect Brunswick’s operating performance or credit metrics to improve sufficiently over the next 12 to 18 months to “justify” another upgrade.