Land O’Lakes Upgraded to Investment Grade Status by Standard and Poor’s
Standard & Poor’s upgraded Land O’Lakes to Investment Grade status as of August 10, 2011. In its rating announcement, Standard and Poor’s attributed the upgrade to a variety of factors, noting: “the company has demonstrated a history of relatively stable earnings performance in recent years, despite operating in the often cyclical agricultural industry.”
The ratings agency also cited the following company attributes:
*Strong financial performance in the first half of fiscal 2011;
*Improved credit measures year-over-year;
*Ability to defend and grow well-established market share positions; and
*Experienced management team.
This upgrade follows a similar upgrade to Investment Grade by Moody’s Investors Services effective May 9, 2011.
“This well-earned upgrade reflects the company’s strong financial performance over the past 5 years,” said Dan Knutson, Land O’Lakes Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Our financial fundamentals are solid, and we’re pleased the ratings agencies are recognizing our consistent, strong performance. Our balance sheet is strong as noted by increased equity and our long-term debt to capital ratio.
Over the long-term financial (debt) ratings affect a company’s ability to access various forms of credit, as well as the cost of new debt. Returning Land O’Lakes to investment grade status has been a key financial objective.
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