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S&P raises rating on M/I Homes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Tuesday raised its ratings on M/I Homes Inc., saying it expects the homebuilder to improve its liquidity and make a faster-than-expected return to profitability.

S&P raised M/I's rating one notch to "B'' from "B-", which keeps it in junk-grade status. It also updated its outlook on the company, moving it to "Stable" from "Positive".

S&P said that the upgrade recognizes the strength of M/I's credit metrics relative to its peers, its improved liquidity cushion from a proposed debt and equity issuance and its return to profitability.

The company on Tuesday said that it is planning a public offering of $50 million of convertible senior subordinated notes. It also announced a public offering of 2.14 million common shares. The company plans to use the proceeds and an equity issuance to redeem some of its preferred shares and for general corporate purposes.

S&P credit analyst Matthew Lynam said that the company's strategy to expand in better-performing markets and the overall housing market improvement should help the company's overall credit metrics in the long run.

Shares of the Ohio-based company rose 51 cents, or 2.2 percent, to close at $23.90.

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