Moody's affirmed its ratings on Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. at Baa2, with a stable outlook.
The action pertains to the shopping center real estate investment trust's issuer rating and to the senior unsecured debt rating of its operating subsidiary, Retail Opportunity Investments Partnership LP.
The rating agency said the affirmation takes into account its expectation that cash flows and select asset sales will drive the REIT's leverage down to the high-6x range and that the company's operating performance will continue to be strong within the next 12 to 18 months.
The action also factors in Retail Opportunity's track record of maintaining occupancy rates of above 97% and its consistently positive and robust same-store net operating income growth, despite the challenges facing the commercial retail real estate market.
The stable outlook reflects the rating agency's expectation that the REIT will improve its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio to below 7x by the end of 2019, among other factors.