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10 Sep 2010
Tokyo, September 10, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has changed to stable from negative the rating
outlook for the Baa1 issuer rating of Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu).
The change in outlook reflects Moody's view that Isuzu will improve its
profitability and financial profile, both of which had worsened
during the very difficult operating environment prevalent from Q3 FYE
3/2009 to Q2 FYE 3/2010.
Moody's considers that an improvement in earnings in coming few
years will come mainly from strong demand in the emerging markets,
where the company is depending for most of its revenue recovery,
and the cyclical recovery of the domestic market, driven by replacement
Furthermore, Isuzu's Baa1 rating and stable outlook incorporates
Moody's expectation that its adjusted Debt/ EBITDA ratio and adjusted
Debt/ Capitalization ratio will both improve, declining to or below
2.5x and to nearly 40% respectively in the next few years
from 5.5x and 51% in FYE 3/2010.
From Q3 FYE 3/2009 to Q2 FYE 3/2010, earnings were severely impacted
by the rapid drop in demand following the global downturn. However,
Isuzu managed to maintain operating profits in FYE 3/2009 and FYE 3/2010
because of its ability to quickly cut costs to minimize the impact of
Demand started to improve from Q3 FYE 3/2010 and the recovery in earnings
accelerated. In Q1 FYE 3/2011, its operating profit margin
recovered to 6.5%, comparable with that before the
Isuzu's Baa1 rating continues to incorporate its leading position
in its major operational areas, geographic diversification with
its exposure to emerging markets and, at the same time, the
highly cyclical nature of its business.
Currently, the Baa1 rating further reflects the company's stable
relationships with its main banks, a situation which lifts the rating
by two notches from its fundamental creditworthiness.
Upward rating pressure could emerge if Isuzu improves earnings and leverage.
For instance, adjusted Debt/EBITDA declines below 2.0x and/or
adjusted Debt/Book Capitalization approaches 40%. Upward
pressure could also emerge if it stabilizes earnings in the medium term.
Downward rating pressure could emerge if profitability and leverage worsen
with Debt/EBITDA above 3.5x and/or EBITA margin below 3%,
and this situation continues for two consecutive years from FYE 3/2011.
A change in Isuzu's financial policies, in the form of material
debt-financed acquisitions or share buyback programs -- which
would lead to higher leverage -- could also generate downward
The last rating action with respect to Isuzu was taken on January 28,
2009, when the outlook for the Baa1 issuer rating for Isuzu was
changed to negative from stable.
The principal methodology used in rating this issuer was "Global Heavy
Manufacturing Rating Methodology," published in November 2009,
which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies
sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other
methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process
of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory
on Moody's website.
Isuzu Motors Limited, headquartered in Tokyo, is a Japanese
automotive manufacturing company with sales of JPY 1,080.9
billion as of FYE 3/2010. It manufactures and sells commercial
vehicles, pick-ups, engines, and parts.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100
Senior Vice President - Team Leader
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100
Moody's Japan K.K.
Moody's changes Isuzu's Baa1 rating outlook to stable
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
No Related Data.
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