DUFF & PHELPS: U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. $500 MILLION UNSECURED DEBT (SHELF) RATED 'AA'
CHICAGO, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of `AA' (Double-A) to U S WEST Communications, Inc.'s (USWC) shelf registration for up to $500 million of debt securities. Any debt issued from this shelf will be unsecured indebtedness of U S WEST Communications. Coupled with a previous shelf registration, U S WEST Communications will have $1 billion in debt available for sale. Part of the debt available for sale will be issued in the form of medium-term notes and will be used to reduce commercial paper balances incurred to refinance higher cost long-term debt. The rest of the shelf will be used for general corporate purposes, including the refinancing of long-term debt maturing during 1994. The strong credit quality of U S WEST Communications is demonstrated by solid pretax coverage of interest expense, a low ratio of debt to cash flow, substantial funding of construction spending from internal sources, and parent infusions of equity to maintain USWC's moderate financial leverage. Duff & Phelps expects modest improvements in measures of financial performance due to operating efficiencies gained as a result of plans to further reduce employees and interest expense savings from refinancing of high cost debt. In the third quarter of 1993, U S WEST Communications recorded a $3.9 billion after-tax plant write-off and restructuring charge. This caused its debt ratio to jump to 66 percent at September 30. The majority of the charge related to the company's decision to begin depreciating its plant according to accounting principles used by competitive companies, as opposed to those used by regulated entities. Just over $600 million of the charge relates to costs associated with a restructuring of USWC's customer support operations and other cost- cutting initiatives. Only this piece of the total charge will result in cash outlays. However, savings from reduced employment levels, work center consolidations, and lower interest expense due to refinancings should lead to significantly lower future expenses. U S WEST Communications, Inc. provides local telecommunications services to 13.7 million access lines in a fourteen state region in the western United States. The company was formed by the Jan. 1, 1991 merger of Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company into Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company. -0- 12/3/93 Event: SEPTA aids the Philadelphia Police Department in fight against hate crimes Date: Monday, Dec. 6 Time: 11 a.m. Place: Philadelphia Police Department Administration Building, 8th and Race Streets (Race Street side of the building) Details: SEPTA has joined in the fight against hate crimes by posting car cards in SEPTA vehicles that define "hate crimes" and indicate the punishment for committing them. Two thousand of the car cards have been placed in SEPTA vehicles. Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Neal, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, SEPTA Police Department Deputy Chief Richard J. Evans and Vice Chairman and General Manager of Transportation Displays Incorporated Robert R. Meara will be on hand to display the new car cards. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is also a sponsor of the event. Space for the posters is donated by SEPTA and Transportation Displays Incorporated. The car card says, "You will be committing a hate crime if you commit a crime against someone because of their race, color, religion, ethnic background or sexual orientation." Further, the car card warns that anyone committing a hate crime will be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!" CONTACT: SEPTA Press Relations, 215-580-7842. /delval/ -0- 12/3/93 /PRNewswire -- Dec. 3/
CO: SEPTA ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:
MJ -- PH036 -- 0416 12/03/93 17:33 EST
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|Date:||Dec 3, 1993|
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