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DUKE POWER $150 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 DUKE POWER $150 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Power Co.'s $150 million 8.375 percent first and refunding mortgage bonds due 2021 being offered today are rated "AA" by Fitch. The issue is part of a shelf registration with an unsold balance of $50 million. The other unsold shelves include $250 million "AA" secured medium-term notes, which was activated this morning, and $150 million "AA-" preferred stock shelf.
 The utility's overall financial condition, which deteriorated recently, will begin to improve with this refinancing of more expensive debt and higher electric rates. Duke is a well-managed, soundly capitalized utility with solid generating diversity (58.4 percent nuclear, 38.3 percent coal, and 3.3 percent hydro and other). Credit quality is expected to begin to improve slightly in the next few years and longer term prospects support current ratings. Over the past two years, internal cash flow provided between 60 percent and 70 percent of capital expenditures. Over the next three years, 1991-1993, construction expenditures including allowance for funds used during construction but excluding nuclear fuel requirements, are estimated at $2.59 billion. Internal cash generation should support about 61 percent of this total. The credit trend is stable.
 While the amount granted in two recent rate cases in North and South Carolina was less than requested, most of the difference in the amount granted was due to a reduction in the return on equity from 13.5 percent requested to 12.5 percent and 12.25 percent allowed, respectively. The amount granted was $100.1 million in North Carolina and $30.2 million in South Carolina. In the meantime, Duke's management is committed to controlling operating costs and maintaining the company's financial indicators.
 -0- 11/22/91
 /CONTACT: Anne Faber of Duke Power, 212-908-0566/
 (DUK) CO: Duke Power Co. ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU: RTG


TS -- NY045 -- 6389 11/22/91 12:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1991
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