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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 66 153 14,870
MORTGAGES 64 144 19,474
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 22 3,817
BUILDING PERMITS 217 359 35,689
BANKRUPTCIES 59 121 14,155
BUSINESS LICENSES 24 86 5,077
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 71 170 21,603
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 59 4,616

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