Fitch raises outlook on USG credit to stable

Fitch raises USG credit outlook to stable, but rating remains well below investment grade

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fitch Ratings raised its outlook on USG Corp. on Friday, and said increased construction spending and higher prices have helped the wallboard maker's credit.

Fitch raised its outlook to stable from negative. It said USG's credit profile remains weak and kept a "B-" credit rating on USG. That rating is "junk" status, six notches below investment grade.

The firm said USG should be more profitable for the rest of 2012 and in 2013 because construction spending, particularly residential and private commercial construction, has improved compared to 2011. That means some improvement in demand for wallboard. Fitch added that USG and its competitors have increased its prices, and the companies have been able to make those increases stick.

Shares of USG rose 95 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $22.45 on Friday. The stock lost a penny to $22.44 in aftermarket trading.

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