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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 73 220 17,575
MORTGAGES 83 246 22,897
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 38 4,467
BUILDING PERMITS 206 514 41,739
BANKRUPTCIES 52 176 16,568
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 50 5,751
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 97 196 25,067
MARRIAGE LICENSES 12 66 5,351

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