S&P MAY DOWNGRADE DEBT RATINGS

NEW YORK -- After the three largest supermarket companies reported mediocre results for 2004 and weak outlooks for 2005, Standard & Poor's here last week said it was considering downgrading its ratings for the debt of all three.A downgrade could make it more expensive for Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway to borrow money, analysts said.In a conference call discussing S&P's decision to place the debt

NEW YORK -- After the three largest supermarket companies reported mediocre results for 2004 and weak outlooks for 2005, Standard & Poor's here last week said it was considering downgrading its ratings for the debt of all three.

A downgrade could make it more expensive for Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway to borrow money, analysts said.

In a conference call discussing S&P's decision to place the debt on "CreditWatch with negative implications," Mary Lou Burde, analyst, S

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