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CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER SENIOR DEBT RAISED TO 'A-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER SENIOR DEBT RAISED TO 'A-' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Connecticut Light and Power Co.'s (CL&P) first mortgage bonds are raised to 'A-' from 'BBB+' by Fitch. The company's preferred stock is raised to 'BBB+' from 'BBB' and its 'F-2' commercial paper is affirmed.
 The higher ratings reflect the constructive rate treatment of CL&P'S investment in two nuclear plants over the past five years, moderate capital requirements, stronger financials, and expectations of ongoing financial improvement.
 Credit quality should continue to improve as a result of the rate base treatment of 85 percent the company's investment in the Millstone 3 nuclear plant, and, effective August 1991, the first of three annual rate increases to phase in the company's Seabrook nuclear investment. In addition, capital expenditure requirements are declining, since the company has sufficient capacity resources to meet modest load growth projected through 2005.
 The $77 million August 1991 phase-one rate increase for recovery of CL&P's Seabrook nuclear investment also included an additional 5 percent of the company's Millstone 3 investment. As a result, 85 percent of the Millstone plant is reflected in rates and recovery of the remaining 15 percent should be complete by 1995.
 Near term, this positive outlook is mildly offset by the recession, the potential difficulty in remarketing capacity from expiring long-term contracts, and recent operating problems at the Millstone nuclear plant. The company added 200 new nuclear engineering and operations positions at an annual cost of $10 million to address the nuclear operating problems.
 The weak economy and commercial operation of new resources may make it difficult for CL&P to remarket capacity to be released from expiring contracts over the next few years. However, assuming constructive rate treatment in 1993, measures of bondholder protection should remain strong despite the potential revenue loss from expiring contracts.
 Internal cash generation is expected to exceed 100 percent of capital expenditures through 1996. This measure has been strong, averaging 118 percent over the three-year period ending 1990. Excess cash is expected to be applied to the retirement of maturing debt. As a result, debt as a percent of capitalization should decline by several percentage points from the 55.5 percent recorded at September 1991. Pretax coverage of interest should also show further improvement from the 3.1 times recorded for the twelve months ended September 1991.
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Josephine Zeppieri, CFA of Fitch, 212-908-0575/ CO: Connecticut Light and Power Co. ST: Connecticut IN: UTI SU: RTG


AH -- NY073 -- 8826 03/17/92 14:07 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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