Fitch Ratings has lowered its rating outlook on appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. to "negative" from "stable," citing a slow decline in profit margins since 1999 and the company's plans to buy back shares.
Fitch affirmed Whirlpool's senior unsecured rating at "A-minus," its seventh-highest investment-grade rating, and the commercial paper rating of Whirlpool Finance BV at "F2."
Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, MI, U.S., had $1.4 billion of debt and $185 million of commercial paper outstanding at the end of March, Fitch said in a release. (Reuters)
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