S&P upgrades Associated Estates Realty to BB+ from BB for solid occupancy, moderate rent increases that helped boost operating performance, ability to pay debt

NEW YORK , September 26, 2011 (press release) – Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday raised its corporate credit rating on Associated Estates Realty Corp., saying solid occupancy and moderate rent increases have helped boost the property owner's operating performance and its ability to pay down debt.

The ratings firm upgraded Associated Estates' rating one notch to "BB+" from "BB." Under S&P's rankings, "BB+" represents the highest noninvestment-grade rating.

S&P also revised its outlook on the rating to stable from positive, saying it expects Associated Estates' performance will continue to support its ability to make debt payments at or above current levels.

"Although we note the company's high floating-rate debt exposure, we expect that current fundamentals will support cash flow growth, which should help mitigate any potential near-term modest rise in interest rates," said credit analyst Eugene Nusinzon.

Shares in Associated Estates were unchanged at $15.74 Friday.

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