Printer Friendly

NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO. $404 MILLION 'A-' DEBENTURES AFFIRMED BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO. $404 MILLION 'A-' DEBENTURES AFFIRMED BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- National Fuel Gas Co.'s $404 million 'A-' outstanding debentures are affirmed by Fitch. The credit trend is improving.
 The action is based on expectations of improvement in bondholder protection measures. Most of these measures weakened over the past two years, largely because of warmer than normal weather conditions in National Fuel Gas's service area and depressed exploration and production performance due to weak natural gas and oil prices. In addition, higher interest costs due to a temporary increase in pipeline construction expenditures for a Canadian gas importation project further weakened interest coverages.
 Pretax interest coverage was 2.17 times (x) at fiscal year-end 1991, down from 2.36x in 1990 and 2.50x in 1989. Total debt to capitalization was 55.0 percent at the end of fiscal 1991, down slightly from 56.2 percent in 1990 but up from 53.3 percent in 1989. Fitch expects an improvement in these measurements over the next several years to levels commensurate with the 'A-' rating. Cash flow coverage of interest, which has remained relatively level and was 3.07x in 1991, should also strengthen. Capital expenditures, having increased from $130 million in fiscal 1989 to $162 million in 1990 and $156 million in 1991, are expected to drop back to $135 million in 1992, then stabilize at the $105 million range for the following several years. The percent of construction expenditures internally generated was 53.2 percent in 1991. Given lower construction expenditures and improved financial performance, this ratio is expected to strengthen over the next several years.
 National Fuel Gas's long-term prospects are supported by its solid position as a low-cost gas provider in the region as well as the operating benefits of its substantial natural gas storage facilities. Also, development of its Canadian gas importation project positions the company well for future regional demand growth.
 Stronger coverage and capitalization ratios over the next several years should result from reductions in capital expenditures, lower interest expense as a result of the recent refunding of high-cost debt, the issuance of common stock in 1992, and the positive effect of rate relief at the state and federal level. A further improvement in financial performance would result from a return of normal weather patterns and stronger natural gas and oil prices.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Ralph Pellecchia of Fitch, 212-908-0586/
 (NFG) CO: National Fuel Gas Co. ST: New York IN: OIL SU: RTG


AH -- NY086 -- 3566 03/31/92 16:23 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
Words:430
Previous Article:DELMARVA POWER ANNOUNCES DIVIDEND ON AUCTION PREFERRED STOCK
Next Article:HARDEE'S APPOINTS POWELL, PRESIDENT, ROY ROGERS DIVISION
Topics:


Related Articles
FITCH WITHDRAWS RATINGS OF EIGHT BANK AND FINANCE COMPANIES -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
ARKLA $850 MILLION 'A-' DEBT ON FITCHALERT NEGATIVE -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
PUBLIC SERVICE ELECTRIC & GAS $250 MILLION BONDS RATED 'A' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
PSE&G $600 MILLION FIRST AND REFUNDING MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'A' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
WESTERN RESOURCES $350 MILLION SHELF DEBT RATED 'A-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
PUGET SOUND P&L $450 MILLION NOTE PROGRAM RATED 'A-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
PUGET SOUND P&L $450 MILLION NOTE PROGRAM RATED 'A-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
WESTERN RESOURCES CAP I & II SHELF 'BBB+', PFD DOWNGRADED BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
Fitch Affirms Fleet On $475M Columbia Management Acquisition - Fitch Financial Wire -
MCN Energy Affirmed; MCNIC Debt Shelf Rated 'BBB+' by Fitch IBCA -- Fitch IBCA Financial Wire --

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters