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CONSOLIDATED NATURAL GAS $150 MILLION 5-3/4 PERCENT DEBENTURES DUE 2003 RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Consolidated Natural Gas Co.'s (CNG) proposed $150 million 5 3/4% debentures due Aug. 1, 2003 are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The issue is a shelf registration takedown. CNG's outstanding 'AA' debentures, 'AA-' subordinated convertible debentures, and 'F-1+' commercial paper are affirmed. The credit trend is improving.
 The ratings reflect several considerations. Prospective annual forecasts for 1993-1997 indicate internally generated cash flows from operations should comfortably exceed planned capital spending by more than $100 million each year. Further gradual deleveraging of an already exceptionally strong and conservative balance sheet is likely. A currently high dividend payout ratio is expected to diminish, even within a framework of prudent, modest yearly common dividend increases.
 Pretax interest coverage is forecast to expand materially beyond 4.0 times (x) over the next several years. A similar positive trend for cash coverage of interest is envisioned. Expected cash generation during each annual working capital operating cycle should be more than sufficient to periodically zero out commercial paper balances. Ample unused lines of credit completely back up the company's commercial paper program.
 CNG maintains a balanced mix of natural-gas-related businesses, in exploration/production, interstate natural gas transportation, market- area storage and local gas distribution. It is well positioned for an orderly operating and financial transition to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 636. Possible future acquisitions can be accommodated by the company's financial strengths and conservative operating philosophy.
 -0- 8/24/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Stellenwerf of Fitch, 212-908-0558/
 (CNG)


CO: Consolidated Natural Gas Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU: RTG

SM -- NY058 -- 5556 08/24/93 15:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 24, 1993
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