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Moody's changes outlook on Zions' ratings to positive

Moody's affirmed the ratings of Zions Bancorp. and unit ZB NA and revised the outlook to positive from stable, citing the Salt Lake City-based company's "good asset quality performance, improving profitability, and solid capital and liquidity metrics."

The rating agency affirmed the company's (P)Baa3 senior unsecured rating, and the bank's Baa3 issuer rating and A3 long-term deposit rating and Prime-2 short-term deposit rating.

According to the rating agency, given Zions' low cost deposits and asset-sensitive balance sheet, the company is well-positioned for higher profitability.

The company in July posted a year-over over increase in second-quarter net earnings. More recently, the company, which is no longer subject to stress testing, on July 26 hiked its quarterly dividend payout and announced a share buyback program.