LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. today announced that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has upgraded its investment grade corporate credit rating from BBB+ to A-, and the preferred stock rating from BBB- to BBB. The rating agency pointed to strong operating performance and liquidity in fiscal 2009 despite a very challenging operating environment. This action by Standard and Poor's follows similar ratings upgrades from S&P in April of 2008 and Moody's Investors Service in February of 2008.
"We are very pleased with the performance of the business, especially in this tough economic and credit environment, so we appreciate our accomplishments being recognized by Standard & Poor's," said Randy Papadellis, Ocean Spray President and CEO. "As Ocean Spray gets set to enter its 80(th) year, the Cooperative has never been healthier. Our success begins with our grower-owners who provide the healthy fruits for our 2,000 passionate employees to create and market a broad portfolio of innovative, good-for-you products consumers are increasingly demanding."
In its December 29, 2009, report, Standard and Poor's noted, "The stable rating outlook reflects our view that the company will maintain strong operating performance and liquidity over the intermediate term. We expect Ocean Spray to maintain its strong market positions and a financial profile appropriate for the 'A-' rating. The rating reflects Ocean Spray's solid market positions and strong debt protection measures."
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as approximately 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 79 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of shelf-stable juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in that category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted record results across the board in fiscal 2009, including gross sales of $2 billion and net proceeds of $346 million.
SOURCE Ocean Spray