Fitch Ratings affirmed its issuer default rating on Boyd Gaming Corp. at B+ and changed the outlook to positive from stable.
The agency also affirmed the company's senior secured credit facility at BB+/RR1 and senior unsecured notes at B+/RR4.
The rating agency attributed the affirmation and the outlook revision to Boyd's improving credit profile and good free cash flow, among other factors.
Fitch expects Boyd's leverage to continue to decline, reaching 5.2x and 4.9x in 2017 and 2018, respectively, driven mainly by EBITDA growth from recent acquisitions and debt paydown.
The rating agency termed the free cash flow of the company as healthy, which creates some cushion against potential operating pressure, as it still owns its real estate and is not subject to the high operating leverage the usual gaming operating companies have from master leases.