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DUFF & PHELPS UPGRADES THE WASHINGTON WATER POWER COMPANY

 CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has raised the ratings of The Washington Water Power Company's (NYSE: WWP) ("WWP") outstanding fixed income securities as follows: first mortgage bonds `A' (Single-A) from `A-' (Single-A-Minus); debentures and medium-term notes to `A-' (Single-A-Minus) from `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus); and preferred stock to `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus) from `BBB' (Triple-B). Approximately $685 million of securities are affected. A rating of `A' (Single-A) also applies to WWP's shelf registration for $200 million of first mortgage bonds and the $50 million balance of first mortgage bonds from a previous shelf registration.
 WWP is a low-cost electric producer, with hydroelectric facilities providing most of the company's energy requirements. WWP also is one of nations' lowest cost distributors of natural gas. The strong growth experienced in WWP's gas business, which has nearly doubled since 1990, should continue. The company is strategically located to obtain economic supplies of natural gas both in the U.S. and Canada. The stable service territory economy and positive growth in electric customers add strength to the company's underlying credit fundamentals. Other positives include a significant improvement in earnings quality and growth in wholesale electric sales which have enhanced financial performance. With its low rates, location, and growth potential, WWP is well positioned for an increasingly competitive environment.
 Hydro unit upgrades, demand side management programs, and extension of purchased power contracts will be used to meet electric demand growth for at least the next decade. Capital expenditures will increase, with some external financing required. However, expected new equity should stabilize the capital structure.
 WWP supplies electric service to 260,000 customers in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. The company's natural gas operations serve 178,000 customers in four states. WWP's principal non-utility subsidiary, Pentzer, limits the size of its investments in companies with strong management teams, positive cash flows, and potential for growth.
 -0- 4/19/93
 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
 (WWP)


CO: The Washington Water Power Company ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: RTG

TM -- NY110 -- 7602 04/19/93 16:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 19, 1993
Words:345
Previous Article:DUFF & PHELPS REAFFIRMS THE EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS AT 'AA-'
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