PUD Receives Upgraded Bond Rating From Standard & Poor’s

December 23, 2008 – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has upgraded the bond credit rating for Columbia River People’s Utility District (PUD) from A- Stable to A Stable.

According to the analysis provided by S&P, the raised rating reflects the PUD’s strong and improved financial performance, including strengthening debt service coverage ratios and liquidity and a declining debt burden, as well as its limited operating risk as a full preference customer of Bonneville Power Administration.

The analysis also noted other factors that supported the raised rating:

The PUD’s recently signed 20-year power supply contract with BPA

  • Very competitive rates
  • Healthy cash balances
  • A very low debt burden with limited capital plans that require no additional bonding
  • Very strong debt service coverage

“We developed a long term strategic plan for the PUD a few years ago,” said General Manager Kevin Owens. “We are focused on strong financial performance, building system reliability and capacity, consistently meeting the expectations of our customers, attracting and retaining quality employees and preparing for future load growth. This rating reflects the hard work and dedication our employees have shown in implementing that plan. I am very pleased with our progress to date.”

A credit rating is a tool that investors use when making decisions purchasing bonds and other debt securities. S&P’s credit ratings range from AAA to D. The ‘A stable’ rating awarded to the PUD is an investment-grade rating that indicates that the utility’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on bond obligations is strong.

“S&P has recognized the success we have had and it is reflected in this upgrade in bond rating,” said Owens.