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Moody's lifts Continental Resources ratings, changes outlook

Moody's on March 18 upgraded Continental Resources Inc.'s rating and changed its outlook from positive to stable.

In particular, the rating agency upgraded Continental's corporate family rating from Ba2 to Ba1, its probability of default rating from Ba2-PD to Ba1-PD and its senior unsecured notes from Ba2 to Ba1. Moody's also affirmed Continental's speculative grade liquidity rating at SGL-1.

The rating agency said the upgrade to Ba1 reflects Continental's strengthened operating profile, which is supported by "the growing scale of production and high operating efficiency."

The stable outlook reflected the rating agency's expectation the firm would continue to generate free cash flow and further decrease debt in 2019.

During the company's earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2018, it emphasized its five-year plan, which aims to keep spending low while delivering 12.5% volume growth and a minimum of $500 million per year in free cash.