Cites Harman's Strong Cash Position, Improved Cost Structure and Competitive Strengths
STAMFORD, CT -- Harman International Industries, Incorporated, the leading global audio and infotainment group (NYSE: HAR) today announced that Moody’s Investors Service increased HARMAN’s corporate credit rating to Ba1, and raised the Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating to SGL-1 from SGL-2.
According to the Moody’s statement, the Company’s much improved credit metrics and strong free cash flow generation were cited as keys to the rating change. Noting benefits accrued from over $400 million in sustainable cost savings achieved through HARMAN’s STEP Change program, Moody’s commented that it expects HARMAN’s profit margin improvement to continue. In particular, Moody’s cited HARMAN’s $14.5 billion dollar business backlog and ongoing cost improvement actions as key to continued margin improvement and positive outlook, despite an environment of lingering economic volatility and uncertainty.
“Building upon S&P’s rating upgrade last week, the Moody’s ratings outlook illustrates its confidence in our commitment to maintaining a strong balance sheet and generating consistently strong free cash flow, in spite of economic headwinds,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN’s Chairman, President and CEO. “The rapid success of our higher-margin scalable infotainment platform and $14.5 billion backlog is being recognized as a true game changer. This, in conjunction with an expanding footprint in fast-growing emerging markets and a healthy liquidity profile, will continue to drive improvements to our business fundamentals that have delivered eight consecutive quarters of top and bottom line growth.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,500 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.0 billion for twelve months ending September 30, 2011. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.