Feb 4 (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings' released its 2014 outlook for the
U.S. Corporates group today. Fitch believes the outlook is stable, reflecting an
improving macroeconomic environment along with relatively strong corporate
profitability leading to a steadily improving credit profile for U.S. corporate
Fitch expects a positive trend in revenue growth, EBITDA margin and free cash
flow in 2014 for U.S. corporates. Improvement in key economic indicators such as
unemployment and the housing market along with stable inflation leads Fitch to
expect this positive trend. In addition, following a slight uptick in
debt-to-EBITDA leverage for U.S. corporates in 2013, which reflected large
issuance activity, Fitch expects leverage to improve in 2014 due primarily to
Fitch forecasts stable or positive outlooks for all of its individual U.S.
corporate sectors in 2014.
However, the outlook is sensitive to macroeconomic conditions and a reversal in
the progress achieved to date, especially related to unemployment could result
in a negative revision. Likewise, rapidly increasing inflation, although
unexpected, could also lead to a negative change in the outlook. Event risk that
could erode the strength of the existing stable outlook include: U.S. debt
ceiling negotiations, the pace of stimulus tapering and the growth rate of
The U.S. Corporates outlook report can be accessed at the Fitch web site. Please
see the full report '2014 Outlook: U.S. Corporates: Stable Outlook with
Improving Trends' available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.