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ConocoPhillips's Rating Rose

Standard & Poor's Rating Services said it has raised its ratings on ConocoPhillips

Standard & Poor's Rating Services said it has raised its ratings on ConocoPhillips, including the corporate credit rating to 'A' from 'A-' with a stable outlook, citing the integrated oil and gas company's material reduction in debt after the acquisition of Burlington Resources in the first quarter of 2006, Forbes reports.

The ratings on ConocoPhillips reflect its strong business profile in volatile, cyclical, and capital-intensive segments of the energy industry as well as an intermediate financial risk profile, S&P said.

Strong commodity prices and refining margins, and markets for energy assets have allowed ConocoPhillips to fund capital spending, share repurchases and dividends while repaying debt, the rating agency added.

However, S&P said it notes that ConocoPhillips' ambitious 17 bln usd share repurchase program could result in higher financial leverage if executed under weaker market conditions, which is a significant factor discouraging further ratings upgrade at this time.

A history of aggressive acquisition activity, along with considerable political risk, somewhat hinders its credit profile, S&P added.