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Moody's upgrades Whole Foods' outlook to positive

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San Francisco Moody's Investors Service on Monday raised Whole Foods Market's rating outlook to positive from stable, and affirmed its Ba3 corporate family rating.

"The positive outlook reflects the likelihood of a ratings upgrade if Whole Foods' operating performance remains near current levels, which would allow it to sustain improvements in credit metrics, free cash flow, and reduced operating risk," said Marie Menendez, Moody's senior VP.

The grocery chain's current rating reflects high leverage and operating risk, which is greater than most supermarkets due to its focus on higher-end products, Moody's said.

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