Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services elevated the corporate credit rating of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. one notch to “A-plus” from “A.”
The company’s ratings were placed on CreditWatch with positive implications on Nov. 26.
Companies with ratings in the “A” family are considered to have strong likelihood of meeting their financial obligations.
S&P credit analyst Jacqueline Hui tied the upgrade to a reassessment of the surplus cash on the New York-based beauty giant’s balance sheet following revised methodology. “Given historically successful new product development and effective advertising, we expect Estée Lauder to sustain its strong market positions, to continue generating good cash flows and to maintain leverage below 1.5 times [debt-to-equity] and funds from operations to total net debt above 60 percent,” she wrote.
At the end of the first quarter on Sept. 30, Lauder had cash and cash equivalents of $1.32 billion and long-term debt of $1.32 billion.