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Moody’s Upgrades USA Today Publisher’s Liquidity Rating

Ratings agency Moody’s has bumped up its speculative-grade liquidity credit rating for USA Today publisher Gannett, but the company’s overall rating remains in the speculative, or “junk” range.

Moody’s lifted its rating on Gannett to SGL-2 (“good”) from SGL-3 (“adequate”). Editor & Publisher reports:

Moody’s Senior Credit Officer John Puchalla said the upgrade reflects Gannett’s “meaningfully improved current and projected headroom within the financial maintenance covenants in its credit facilities driven by debt reduction from free cash flow, significant cost reductions, and greater revenue stability.”

Moody’s maintains a Ba1 rating on the overall company, the highest rating a company garner while remaining in a junk-level classification.

The Moody’s Gannett upgrade follows a Standard & Poor’s upgrade of The New York Times Co. to B+ from B. Both Gannett and Times Co.’s overall credit ratings remain in the “junk” range. Gannett on July 16 reported a year-over-year increase in second-quarter profit on a slight downtick in operating revenue.

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