S&P upgrades outlook on Molson Coors Brewing to 'Positive' from 'Stable' after brewer cuts its debt

NEW YORK , November 7, 2011 () – Standard & Poor's Ratings Services upgraded its outlook on Molson Coors Brewing Co. on Friday to "Positive" from "Stable" as the brewer cut its debt.

The rating agency also affirmed its "BBB-" corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on the company, which is based in Denver. The rating is the lowest level of investment grade.

Molson Coors had about $2 billion of debt outstanding at Sept. 24. The company recently repaid some debt and cut its liability tied to a cross-currency swap during the third quarter.

S&P said that despite challenging industry conditions, Molson Coors is expected to continue to improve its debt level relative to its earnings.

Molson Coors reported Wednesday that its third-quarter net income fell 23 percent as high costs and high unemployment among its core customers continued to take a toll on its profits.

The rating agency said it would consider a higher rating if Molson Coors' improves its financial performance and continues to improve its credit measures.

Shares of Molson Coors fell 28 cents to close at $38.87 Friday and were unchanged in after-hours trading.

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