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Moody's upgrades Tenet Healthcare ratings

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 3:45pm
The Associated Press

Moody's Investors Service on Thursday upgraded ratings for Tenet Healthcare Corp., citing the company's recently raised guidance for 2010 and overall improvement in operating results.

Moody's upgraded the for-profit hospital operator's corporate family rating to "B2" from "B3."

On Monday, Tenet boosted its forecast for the fiscal year to 31 cents to 40 cents per share, higher than the 24 cents to 32 cents it was previously expected. The company said it expects lower operating costs and a smaller decline in the number of paying admissions.

The new rating is still in Moody's "speculative" category, signaling high credit risk. In a statement, Moody's said the ratings reflect challenges facing the company and the health care sector, including the cost of uncompensated care.

Moody's also said Dallas, Texas-based Tenet has not shown it can cut its debt using cash from operations.

The service said its ratings outlook for Tenet is stable and upgraded Tenet's probability of default rating to "B2" from "B3." It also upgraded ratings on several issues of senior notes and its $800 million revolving credit facility.

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