Fitch Ratings affirmed Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.'s BBB- long-term issuer-default rating.
The outlook on the rating is stable.
The rating agency highlighted Bio-Rad's new long-term business strategy, unveiled in 2017, which involves seeking attractive acquisitions as well as a refocus on research and development spend. Fitch assumes EBITDA margin improvement, annual acquisitions and modest share repurchases under the new development plan.
Additionally, Fitch described the company as a value-based acquirer, conducting tuck-in purchases since 2012, but now with the possibility for transformational transactions.
In terms of leverage, Bio-Rad's conservative financial policy, lack of significant acquisitions and repayment of subordinated debt in 2013 have consistently kept its leverage below 2.3x, according to Fitch. However, the rating agency said Bio-Rad's historically low leverage may be temporary, given its new business strategy.
Moody's previously affirmed Bio-Rad's Baa3 senior unsecured rating, with a positive outlook.
Bio-Rad is a life sciences and diagnostics company based in in Hercules, Calif.