By  on March 5, 2012

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s upgraded Liz Claiborne Inc.’s corporate credit rating to “B” from “B-minus” and removed the ratings from CreditWatch. The agency said the outlook is stable.

Claiborne, which plans to change its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. in May, sold off a number of assets last year, including the Liz Claiborne brand and a majority of its Mexx business, and used the money raised to pay down debt.

The agency expects Claiborne’s profitability and cash flow generation to improve now that it has eliminated the operating losses associated with the Mexx brand.

RELATED STORY: Asset Sales Boost Liz Claiborne Net >>

S&P credit analyst Linda Phelps said, “We expect [Claiborne] to undertake further debt reductions with excess cash on balance sheet during the course of 2012.”

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