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2011 Bond Ratings: Upgrades, Downgrades

Life Science Industry

Rating Action: Outlook Raised to Positive From Stable

Rating Date: Apr. 8

Moody's revised its outlook for the U.S. life science industry to positive from stable.

"The revision reflects Moody's belief that the sector's operating profits will rise 5% to 7% over the next 12 to 18 months, driven by increased spending on scientific research and development and testing worldwide," said Moody's.

Moody's said much of the growing demand for the tools and equipment that life science companies make and distribute comes from industrial companies, which are benefiting the most from the global recovery.

Industrial companies account for about 25% of the life science sector's revenues.

Life science stocks were trading in mixed territory on Apr. 12. Allergan (AGN - Get Report) was falling 0.5% to $74.85 and AstraZeneca (AZN - Get Report) was trading sideways at $48.69. Merck (MRK - Get Report) was up 0.3% to $33.68 and Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) was 0.9% lower at $20.48. Novartis (NVS - Get Report) was rising 0.2% to $55.30 and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Get Report) was increasing 0.5% to $40.21.

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