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DUFF & PHELPS: NEW JERSEY BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY $100 MILLION 7-1/4 PERCENT DEBENTURES DUE 2023 RATED 'AAA'

 CHICAGO, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of AAA' (Triple-A) to New Jersey Bell Telephone Company's (NJB) $100 million offering of 7-1/4 percent debentures due March 1, 2023. The debentures are non-callable for 10 years and were priced at 99.115 to yield 7.323 percent to maturity. Proceeds will be used to refinance high cost debt.
 New Jersey Bell exhibits superior financial strength as measured by its excellent pretax coverage of interest expense, virtually complete funding of construction spending from internal sources, and its conservative debt ratio. Pretax interest coverage improved in 1992 as a result of successful cost controls and lower interest expense. Assuming an estimated dividend payout of 80-90 percent, future capital expenditures should be entirely funded with internal cash flow. However, in conjunction with two cable TV companies, NJB has announced plans to build a high capacity network in several communities capable of providing both telephone and video services. If NJB were to commit to more of these ventures, capital expenditures might exceed current expectations.
 A recent New Jersey Board of Regulatory Commissioners (BRC) decision called for freezing basic rates through 1999, but continues the policy of providing more pricing and earnings flexibility for discretionary and competitive services. The BRC also endorsed NJB's plans to invest $1.5 billion to rewire the state with fiber optic cable by 2010. NJB's network is currently among the most advanced and efficient networks in the nation.
 New Jersey Bell provides local telecommunications services and access to the networks of long distance carriers to over 5.0 million access lines in New Jersey, accounting for 97 percent of the state's total lines. Local services generate 34 percent of revenues, long distance network access services 26 percent, toll services 23 percent, and directory and other services 17 percent. NJB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Atlantic Corporation.
 -0- 02/26/93
 /CONTACT: James J. Stork, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3125/


CO: New Jersey Bell Telephone Company ST: New Jersey IN: TLS SU: RTG

AH -- NY028 -- 0827 02/26/93 11:49 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1993
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