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DUFF & PHELPS CREDIT RATING CO. REAFFIRMS RATINGS OF GTE NORTHWEST INCORPORATED

 CHICAGO, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has reaffirmed the ratings of the fixed income securities of GTE Northwest Incorporated.
 The first mortgage bonds of GTE Northwest are reaffirmed at AA-' (Double-A-Minus) and its preferred stock at A+' (Single-A-Plus). The AA-' (Double-A-Minus) rating of GTE Northwest's first mortgage bonds will apply to the $125 million of first mortgage bonds that it expects to issue this week. Proceeds from the offering will be used to reduce outstanding balances of short-term debt.
 GTE Northwest Inc.'s credit protection measures have come under pressure in recent years because of external financing necessitated by the rapid growth it is experiencing in its Pacific Northwest service territory. The debt ratio has risen from 38 percent in 1989 to 43 percent at Sept. 30, 1992. Nonetheless, because of expense control efforts and refinancing of high cost debt, coverages have generally remained in excess of 4.0 times.
 Completion of the merger with Contel's telephone properties in the Northwest is expected shortly. Cost savings as a result of the merger and the earnings of the Contel properties should enhance the credit quality of GTE Northwest. Coupled with GTE Northwest's ongoing efforts to lower expenses through "process re-engineering," pretax interest coverages should remain above 4.0 times. Continued equity support from the parent will be an important component of maintaining GTE Northwest's credit quality during this period of rapid growth. The company's regulatory environment, on a composite basis, is average. Because of the subsidies built into GTE Northwest's rate structures, repricing of services remains a critical regulatory issue.
 GTE Northwest Inc. is the largest non-Bell telephone company in the Pacific Northwest. The company's 1,023,000 access lines are located in the following states: Washington (58 percent of total lines), Oregon (31 percent), Idaho (9 percent), California (1 percent), and Montana (1 percent). Access line growth in 1992 was nearly 6 percent, roughly twice the level of the industry growth rate.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: James J. Stork, CFA of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3125/


CO: GTE Northwest Incorporated ST: IN: TLS SU: RTG

PS -- NY046 -- 4633 02/09/93 11:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 9, 1993
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