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VOL. 127 | NO. 145 | Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moody's Boosts Outlook for AutoZone to ‘Positive’

AP

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NEW YORK (AP) – Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday boosted its outlook for AutoZone Inc. to "positive" from "stable," citing the auto parts retailer's stable finances and improving profitability.

The raised outlook means that Moody's could chose to raise the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's credit ratings if its finances continue to improve. Moody's affirmed its "Baa2" senior unsecured and "Prime-2" commercial paper ratings for the company. The ratings are on the lower end of investment grade.

The credit rating agency said the outlook change reflects AutoZone's growing profitability and the strength of its private Duralast brand of parts and accessories.

In addition, the average age of the typical vehicle on U.S. roads is increasing and Americans are driving more miles, both of which should prompt increased spending at AutoZone stores, Moody's said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 376 10,434
MORTGAGES 124 449 13,881
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 56 2,766
BUILDING PERMITS 196 798 23,420
BANKRUPTCIES 68 264 8,803
BUSINESS LICENSES 24 77 3,613
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 251 637 13,380
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 93 3,117

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