Fitch Upgrades Ford Ratings

Fitch Ratings announced Friday it upgraded Ford (NYSE:F) and Ford Motor Credit from “B” to "BB-.” The rating outlook for Ford and Ford Credit is “stable.”

Fitch said that strong financial performance and reduction of debt in the company’s second- quarter influenced the upgrade, and it expects Ford’s full-year free-cash-flow generation will exceed previous forecasts of $2.5 billion.

For Ford’s second quarter, U.S. market share had risen by 150 basis points to 16.7% for the year, and the company also reported strong net pricing during this time. Fitch said Ford is on pace to have solid profit for 2010.

Although Fitch said Ford will end 2010 solidly, the second half of the year may not be as financially strong as the first due to costs incurred with changeovers for the model-year.

Fitch added that Ford could see another upgrade in the medium term if the auto maker continues to “make progress on leverage reduction while maintaining a strong liquidity position.”