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Moody's raises Pinnacle Foods credit rating

NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service raised its rating on Pinnacle Foods Inc. Wednesday, saying the company's plan to repay some of its debt with the proceeds from its initial public offering of stock will improve its credit.

Pinnacle Foods makes Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles.

It raised about $627 million in its IPO in late March. It's using that money and cash it has on hand to pay back $667 million in debt by April 15. It will still have around $2 billion in debt.

Analyst Brian Weddington lifted Pinnacle Foods' credit rating to "B1" from "B2," with a positive outlook. The new rating is still "junk" status, four notches below investment grade.

Having higher rated debt can make it cheaper for companies to borrow.

Shares of Pinnacle Foods lost 58 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $23.52 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded between $22.15 and $24.80 since the IPO.