The Associated Press August 3, 2011, 4:42PM ET

Fitch upgrades AmerisourceBergen

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday upgraded the debt ratings of pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp. and revised its outlook to "Stable" from "Positive."

The ratings were raised by one notch to "A-" from "BBB+", the agency said.

The agency said upgrade was based on the company's consistent and robust cash generation and strong position as one of the three major drug distributors in the U.S.

Fitch also said it expects the company to benefit from the "unprecedented wave of branded pharmaceutical patent expiries set to continue into 2013, as well as the company's market-leading position in specialty distribution."

Risks include low operating margins and lack of longer-term growth opportunities.

AmerisourceBergen is based in Valley Forge, Pa. Its shares rose 43 cents to $38.16 in trading Wednesday.

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