DUFF & PHELPS RAISES RATING OF PACIFIC ENTERPRISES' PREFERRED STOCK TO 'BBB-'
CHICAGO, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has raised the rating of Pacific Enterprises' preferred stock to "BBB-" (Triple-B-Minus) from BB+' (Double-B-Plus). The upgrade affects approximately $258 million of securities. Subsidiary Southern California Gas Company's first mortgage bond and preferred stock ratings are reaffirmed at "A+" (Single-A-Plus) and commercial paper at Duff 1+ (One-Plus). Pacific Enterprises essentially completed its corporate restructuring in 1992 with the sale of its major nonutility businesses. Proceeds from the sale of Thrifty Corporation and Pacific Enterprises Oil Company have been used to substantially reduce debt. Debt reduction is anticipated to continue through cash received from utility dividends, tax benefits, and proceeds from recently completed asset sales. Pacific Enterprises recently adopted a quasi-reorganization which eliminates a retained earnings deficit and adjusts non-utility assets and liabilities to fair value. Following this action, no further write-downs are expected. Pacific Enterprises will return its focus to its core business, Southern California Gas Company. Natural gas distribution activities should continue to provide a strong earnings base. The cash dividend from Southern California Gas is sufficient to cover Pacific Enterprises' interest expense and preferred dividends. Moreover, a plan to refinance Pacific Enterprises' debt, reduce corporate overhead, and improve financial flexibility is expected to support ongoing financial improvement. -0- 2/11/93 /CONTACT: David W. Eisinger, CFA of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3145/ (PET)
CO: Pacific Enterprises ST: California IN: UTI SU: RTG
TS -- NY051 -- 5731 02/11/93 13:00 EST
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|Date:||Feb 11, 1993|
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