Yellow Media shares hit life low on S&P downgrade

Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:13am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Shares of Yellow Media Inc YLO.TO fell to a lifetime low on Thursday after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its long-term corporate credit rating on the Canadian telephone directory publisher by three notches.

S&P said it was concerned about the Montreal-based company's weakening performance, deteriorating cash flows and poor access to capital markets.

Earlier this month, Yellow Media, which has been struggling with a digital switchover while its print business is declining at a fast clip, posted a quarterly profit below market expectation.

S&P lowered its long-term corporate credit rating to "B-" from "BB-" on Yellow Media, which is saddled with a debt of about C$1.5 billion.

Yellow Media's limited financial flexibility to invest in growth initiatives will affect its ability to increase its online revenue more materially in the near term, said S&P credit analyst Madhav Hari.

"We feel that Yellow Media will be challenged to refinance its debt obligations."

Yellow Media stock, the top percentage loser on the Toronto Stock Exchange, was trading down at 9 Canadian cents on Thursday morning. The shares, which were trading at C$10 in 2003, have lost more than 90 percent of their value in the last six months.

(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)