S&P Lowers Outlook on Brown-Forman (BF-A) to Negative; Ratings Affirmed

September 9, 2016 3:05 PM EDT

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ratings on Brown-Forman Corp. (NYSE: BF-A), including our 'A-' long-term corporate credit and 'A-2' short-term corporate credit ratings. We also revised our outlook to negative from stable.

"The negative outlook reflects our belief that leverage is likely to remain in the low-2x area because of higher debt levels likely to fund additional share repurchases under its current authorization, and the possibility that the company could authorize and execute another sizable share repurchase for fiscal 2018, further raising leverage," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Stephanie Harter.

S&P Global Ratings could lower the ratings on Brown-Forman if leverage increases closer to 3x. We could revise the outlook to stable if the company materially reduces the level of share repurchases and sustains debt to EBITDA near or below 2.5x.

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