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Announcement:

Moody's: Solid near-term liquidity profile for consumer durables issuers, but longer-term refunding concerns persist

29 Jun 2010

New York, June 29, 2010 -- Despite lingering economic uncertainty, consumer durables companies are generally in a good liquidity position, having weathered the storm of the recession by cutting costs, refinancing debt and generating cash by reducing working capital, Moody's Investors Service said in a new report. A modest $1.3 billion of corporate debt is set to mature by December 2011 in the consumer durables sector, the report said.

"Consumers have started to loosen their grips on their wallets and buy some of the big-ticket items they had held off on for the last 18 months. But concerns over a bevy of factors, from high unemployment to the impact of the European debt crisis, have recently dampened optimism," said Kevin Cassidy, Senior Credit Officer at Moody's.

No debt is due in 2010, and less than $800 million is due by June 2011. The maturing debt due by the end of 2011 is held by five companies rated B1 or higher, with four of the five at or near investment-grade ratings. The companies are Herman Miller Inc., Jarden Corporation, Mohawk Industries Inc., Steelcase Inc. and Whirlpool Corporation.

"Most of the companies with those early maturities have built up solid cash reserves or have committed revolving credit facilities and should be able to meet their obligations without having to access the capital markets," Cassidy said. "However, all of these companies accessed the capital markets in some fashion in 2009, and we believe they would likely be able to do so again if needed," he added.

Since the recession started, many consumer durables companies have turned to asset-based lending (ABL) revolving credit facilities, which generally do not carry unwieldy quarterly financial covenants. Of the 17 companies rated by Moody's that are subject to quarterly maintenance financial covenants, only four have a cushion of less than 35%, and they are all rated B2 or lower. Further helping the sector's near-term liquidity position is that nearly half of the 26 consumer durables companies rated by Moody's have revolvers that mature after 2012, and only one has a revolver that matures in 2011.

"The longer-term refunding risk for the consumer durables subsector is a concern because some issuers had trouble accessing the market during the height of the financial crisis and some deals have been delayed recently due to turmoil in the global financial markets," noted Cassidy. "More than $1 billion of debt is due in 2012 by companies rated B2 or lower," he added.

The report—" Consumer Durables Industry: Good Liquidity Position in Near-to-Midterm, but Longer-Term Refunding Concerns Persist"—is available at www.moodys.com.

* * * * *

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information please contact New York Press Information +1-212-553-0376; EMEA Press Information in London +44-20-7772-5456; Juan Pablo Soriano in Madrid +34-91-310-1454; Alex Cataldo in Milan +39-02-914-81-100; Eric de Bodard in Paris +331-5330-1076; Detlef Scholz in Frankfurt +49-69-707-30-700; Mardig Haladjian in Limassol +357-25-586-586; Alex Sazhin in Moscow +7-495-228-60-60; Petr Vins in Prague +4202 2422 2929; Tokyo Press Information +813-5408-4110; Hilary Parkes in Toronto +1-416-214-1635; Hong Kong Press Information +852 3758 1350; Hector Lim in Sydney +612 9270 8102; Luiz Tess in São Paulo +5511-3043-7300; Alberto Jones Tamayo in Mexico City +5255-1253-5700; Daniel Rúas in Buenos Aires +54 11-4816-2332 ext. 105; Craig Jamieson in Johannesburg +27-11-217-5470; Jehad el-Nakla in Dubai +971 4 401 9536; or visit our web site at www.moodys.com

New York
Kevin Cassidy
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
John Diaz
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's: Solid near-term liquidity profile for consumer durables issuers, but longer-term refunding concerns persist
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