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Standard & Poor’s upgrades Brunswick

Standard & Poor's recently raised its credit rating on Brunswick Corp., saying its "financial profile has improved to the point that it supports a higher rating, even incorporating anticipated revenue and EBITDA volatility in the marine segment over time."

The company’s rating was raised to “BB-” from “B+” and the rating outlook is positive.

“The upgrade reflects our belief that, under our updated performance expectations, Brunswick will maintain credit measures comfortably within our threshold for a 'BB-' corporate credit rating, even incorporating expected revenue and EBITDA volatility in the company's marine segment over time,” Standard & Poor's credit analyst Emile Courtney said in a statement.

“Given our assessment of Brunswick's business risk profile, we believe a leverage target in the low-4x area, on average, is in line with our current 'BB-' rating, although we expect that leverage will be well below this level in 2012 and 2013. The upgrade reflects Brunswick's lower manufacturing cost structure after years of restructuring, and our belief that the company will maintain inventory levels that allow its production volumes to be largely in line with expected retail demand over the next several years.”

Brunswick is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings report next week.

Its stock closed Friday at $25.19 a share. Its 52-week high and low are $27.70 and $13.19.

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