NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service said it has upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2 the long-term bond ratings assigned to South Lake County Hospital District, Fla.'s $68.6 million of outstanding bonds. The outlook is stable.

The rating upgrade to Baa1 from Baa2 and stable outlook reflects South Lake County Hospital District's strong financial performance over the last three years, growth in absolute liquidity, maintenance of strong market share and strong affiliation with A2 rated Orlando Health.

These favorable indictors are offset by South Lake's small size for the Baa1 rating category, a still high debt burden following the increase in debt in FY 2009 and its location near the competitive central Florida market.

The greater Orlando service area also has high unemployment and declining property values resulting in reduced tax revenues to South Lake.

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