S&P Places Highmark Inc. 'A+' Rtgs on CreditWatch Neg.Business Editors
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 10, 2003
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Ratings Service
A company, such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's, that rates various debt and preferred stock issues for safety of payment of principal, interest, or dividends. said today that it placed its 'A+' counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Highmark Inc., which does business as Highmark BCBS BCBS Blue Cross/Blue Shield
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BCBS Bishop Cotton Boys School (Bangalore, India)
BCBS Bar Code Business Software and Highmark Blue Shield Blue Shield A US not-for-profit health care insurer that is a reimbursement intermediary for physicians. Cf Blue Cross. , on CreditWatch with negative implications because of Highmark's reported year-to-date operating losses operating loss
The excess of operating expenses over revenue. As with operating income, operating losses exclude revenues and expenses from operations that are not considered a regular part of the business. Also called deficit. Compare operating income. as of April 30, 2003, in the Central and Western Pennsylvania Western Pennsylvania consists of the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States.
Pittsburgh is the largest city in the region, with a metropolitan area of about 2.4 million people, and is the cultural center for Western Pennsylvania. regions.
"Standard & Poor's is concerned that continued price competition with Capital Blue Cross in the Central Pennsylvania region will adversely affect Highmark's earnings, capital, and business profile," explained Standard & Poor's credit analyst Steven Ader. (Prior to April 2002, Highmark and Capital Blue Cross jointly marketed and serviced 1.2 million members, which is 64% of the Central Pennsylvania market.) This concern is exacerbated by operating losses in Highmark's core Western Pennsylvania region resulting from the combination of competitive pricing and higher-than-expected medical cost trends.
The ratings on Highmark are based on its extremely strong capitalization, extremely strong liquidity, and market leadership in Western Pennsylvania. Highmark provides a full line of medical and hospital services to more than 3 million members in Western Pennsylvania, which translates to about a 70% market share. Highmark services an additional 1.2 million members in the Central and Eastern Pennsylvania regions Geographic regions of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America. Southeastern Pennsylvania
Standard & Poor's will meet with Highmark's management in the next few weeks and expects to resolve the CreditWatch status of the ratings in July 2003.
Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit analysis system, at www.ratingsdirect.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's Web site at www.standardandpoors.com; under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar A set of buttons or graphic images typically in a row or column used as a central point that link you to major topic sections on a Web site. If the navigation bar is a single graphic image with multiple selections, it is known as an imagemap. See imagemap. , select Credit Ratings Actions.
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