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Fitch assigns 1st-time IDR rating of BB to QEP Resources

FitchRatings has assigned a first-time long-term issuer default rating of BB with astable outlook to QEP ResourcesInc., according to an April 7 news release.

The ratingwas based on QEP's strong upstream metrics, adequate liquidity and limited nearterm maturities, tempered by concerns such as a relatively small productionbase and possible loss of operational momentum due to CapEx reductions, Fitchsaid in the release.

QEP'scapital budget guidance for 2016 is a range of $450 million to $500 million,down from a capital budget of $1.2 billion in 2015. About $100 million of the2015 budget was used as acquisition capital. Equity was also raised with grossproceeds of $379.5 million in 2016.

Fitchexpects 2016 CapEx to be at the low end of the guidance, with particular focusin funding plans to operate three rigs, one each in the Williston, Permian andPinedale.

"QEP'supstream metrics are consistent with higher rated North American E&P peersbut the rating is currently constrained by the company's limited size andscale," Fitch said.