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PANHANDLE EASTERN PIPELINE UNITS' INVESTMENT GRADE RATINGS AFFIRMED; COMPANY REMOVED FROM S&P CREDIT WATCH

 PANHANDLE EASTERN PIPELINE UNITS' INVESTMENT GRADE RATINGS AFFIRMED;
 COMPANY REMOVED FROM S&P CREDIT WATCH
 HOUSTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Standard & Poor's Corporation today reaffirmed its investment grade ratings for the senior debt of Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation and Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, natural gas pipeline units of Panhandle Eastern Corporation, and removed the companies from its Credit Watch list. The agency assigned a "BB+" rating to the debt of Texas Eastern Corporation, a non-operating holding company, which is in line with S&P's stated industry practice.
 "The company is pleased with the reaffirmation of our pipeline units' investment grade rating," said Dennis Hendrix, chairman and president of Panhandle Eastern Company. "We are pleased with the progress Panhandle Eastern has made in improving its financial position. During 1991, we increased the equity-to-capitalization ratio to 35 percent from 29 percent. This was accomplished by, among other actions, issuing $142 million in common equity, improving earnings and containing capital expenditures."
 Hendrix continued, "We remain committed to our goal of continuing the improvement of the company's financial position. Our goal is an equity position in excess of 40 percent, and specific actions are being pursued to achieve that goal. Panhandle Eastern continues to improve operating results and to contain capital expenditures, and we will continue our ongoing program to sell non-core assets."
 Yesterday, Panhandle Eastern announced first-quarter 1992 net income of $60.6 million compared with $40.7 million for the same period last year, further indicating the continued improvement in the company's results due to actions initiated in the recent past by the company.
 Panhandle Eastern Corporation (NYSE: PEL) operates one of the nation's largest interstate natural gas pipeline systems, providing natural gas to the Midwest and Northeast markets.
 -0- 4/16/92
 /CONTACT: Maureen Civiletto (media), 713-627-4076, or Dorothy M. Ables (investors), 713-627-4600, both of Panhandle Eastern/
 (PEL) CO: Panhandle Eastern Corp. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: RTG


GK -- NY050 -- 9242 04/16/92 11:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1992
Words:326
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