OREANDA-NEWS. S&P Global Ratings today assigned its 'A' issue-level rating to Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences Inc.'s proposed offering of senior unsecured notes. The rating is the same as our rating on the company's existing unsecured notes. The company plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of debt, working capital, payment of dividends, the repurchase of common stock pursuant to a share repurchase authorization, and future acquisitions.

Our corporate credit rating on Gilead is 'A' with a stable outlook.

The ratings on Gilead reflects the company's leading position in the HCV and HIV treatment categories, its successful and productive research and development (R&D) program, and strong profitability, offset by its narrow therapeutic focus and significant product concentration. Strong sales and cash flows have enabled the company to maintain very strong credit measures, with debt leverage less than 1.5x, which we expect to continue to decline and annual free cash flows of at least $15 billion a year. Along with generally conservative financial policies, we believe that Gilead will continue to maintain its very conservative financial profile, even when considering the possibility of significant share repurchase or acquisition activity.

For the corporate credit rating rationale on Gilead, see the research update published on Jan. 13, 2016.