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Moody's revises outlook on Schneider Electric to positive

Moody's revised the outlook on Schneider Electric SE to positive from stable, while affirming the company's senior unsecured notes and long-term issuer rating at Baa1.

The rating agency cited Schneider Electric's robust cash generation and operating performance in 2018 as well as the prospect of additional improvement in 2019 for the revised outlook.

Schneider Electric's organic revenue growth came in at 7% in 2018, surpassing the competition and reflecting a rise in market share, Moody's said. The company is looking to increase its organic profitability by 20 to 50 basis points in 2019 and is pursuing an organic topline growth of 3% to 5%, the agency said.

The company's gross leverage declined to below 2.5x in 2018 from close to 3.0x levels four years ago, mainly on the back of earnings growth and stable debt levels offsetting the impact of sizable shareholder returns and acquisitions over the period, Moody's noted. The Baa1 rating reflects uncertainties posed by debt-financed acquisitions and shareholder returns on Schneider Electric's ability to further reduce its gross leverage in 2019 and beyond.