Moody's upgrades DirecTV

Lauds CEO's commitment to investment-grade credit profile

NEW YORK -- Moody's Investors Service on Thursday upgraded DirecTV senior unsecured debt ratings to investment-grade status, which makes it easier for companies to get credit.

Moody's lauded new CEO Michael White's commitment to an investment-grade credit profile, saying that offsets previous concerns about potential plans by shareholder John Malone, who is known to increase debt leverage.

"Given this posture and the current very low leverage profile, we believe the risk of a self imposed reversal from this commitment, which has been a primary Moody's concern, particularly given the influence of the company's largest shareholder, Dr. John Malone (about 2.5% economic and 24% voting), is low," the debt ratings agency said.

"Moody's view is supported by its belief that Mr. White's history of working in a financial capacity for PepsiCo Inc. for almost 20 years, including CFO of PepsiCo, has shaped an investment-grade mindset that will help guide the company's future financial policies."
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