Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Arkansas Best Corporation Receives Debt Rating Upgrade
Arkansas BestCorporation has received an upgrade of its senior unsecureddebt rating from Moody's Investor Service. Moody's raised Arkansas Best'srating to Baa2 with a stable outlook, from Baa3. In today's press release announcing this change, Moody's stated that itsupgrade "reflects Arkansas Best's record of strong operating and financialresults throughout the economic cycle and particularly good peak cycleperformance, the company's modest amount of reported debt and strong creditmetrics, and the consistent record of improving the return on investedcapital." Moody's press release went on to say "The rating also recognizesthe competitive, capital intensive and sharply cyclical nature of the truckingindustry; however, Moody's believes the company has the operating flexibilityand liquidity to remain competitive throughout a down-turn." In addition,Moody's review considered Arkansas Best's contingent obligations for its shareof the unfunded liabilities of each multi-employer pension fund to which itcontributes.