DUFF & PHELPS RATES BAY STATE GAS COMPANY'S MEDIUM-TERM NOTES 'A'
CHICAGO, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of `A' (Single-A) to Bay State Gas Company's $125 million medium-term note program. Proceeds will be used to repay outstanding short-term debt, refund long-term debt and/or redeem preferred stock, and for construction. Bay State Gas has strong financial protection measures with common equity comprising approximately one-half of total capitalization. The company has issued a combination of debt and equity to maintain the capital structure during periods of increased capital spending. Bay State Gas also has taken advantage of opportunities to refinance higher cost debt and preferred stock. Customer growth potential is above average due to a very low saturation of space heating. Conversions from alternative fuels, rather than new construction, continue to bolster customer growth. A primarily residential and commercial customer and throughput base helps insulate Bay State Gas from the threat of load loss due to alternative fuel competition, although it does make the company sensitive to weather. Bay State Gas has been in a favorable gas supply position. Domestic supplies are complemented by access to Canadian gas suppliers through the Iroquois Pipeline and Bay State's subsidiary Granite State Gas Transmission. The Northern Expansion Project is a key element of the company's long-term gas supply strategy; regulatory approvals for the project are necessary. Bay State's supply strategy will continue to be monitored as the industry evolves under FERC Order 636. Continued regulatory support in Bay State Gas' three state jurisdictions will be needed for the ongoing capital program and in view of the increased risks local distribution companies are assuming under Order 636. Bay State Gas is a natural gas distribution company serving portions of Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. Subsidiary Granite State Gas Transmission owns and operates interstate gas pipelines in New England. -0- 6/4/93 /CONTACT: David W. Eisinger, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3145/ (BGC)
CO: Bay State Gas Company ST: Massachusetts IN: OIL SU: RTG
SH -- NY051 -- 5541 06/04/93 15:28 EDT
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|Date:||Jun 4, 1993|
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