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GTE DISAPPOINTED BY S&P'S CHANGE IN RATING; IS COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION

 GTE DISAPPOINTED BY S&P'S CHANGE IN RATING;
 IS COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION
 STAMFORD, Conn. July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- "In light of GTE's successful, strategic business program and strong financial position, we're disappointed that Standard & Poor's has changed the rating on the corporation's senior debt from A- to BBB+ and on its commercial paper from A-1 to A-2," said Charles R. Lee, chairman and chief executive officer. "Through a series of strategic actions, as well as productivity and quality improvements, GTE's competitive position has been greatly strengthened over the past several years. Moreover, we have committed our resources and focused our strategies on the high- growth telecommunications industry -- an industry where we have proven strengths on a worldwide basis."
 Nicholas L. Trivisonno, senior vice president-finance said, "We have recently applied $530 million from the sale of US Sprint toward the reduction of debt, and will see additional and significant improvement in our financial profile after debt is further paid down with the proceeds from the divestiture or spin-off of our Electrical Products Group. These actions, combined with $5 billion in annual cash flow, employee stock plans and dividend-reinvestment programs, will allow us to retire close to $4 billion of debt by 1994."
 "Each phase of our strategic program -- from the Contel merger to our decision to divest Electrical Products and focus on the telecommunications industry -- was undertaken after careful consideration of the costs and benefits, including the security of our bondholders," Trivisonno said.
 "GTE believes it deserves the 'A' rating, and is committed to maintaining a strong financial position. We are pleased that Moody's Investors Service continues to rate our senior debt 'A3,' Duff & Phelps 'A-' and Fitch 'A,' " he added.
 GTE is the fourth-largest publicly owned telecommunications company in the world. With approximately $20 billion in revenues in 1991, the corporation is the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company and the second-largest cellular-service provider in the United States.
 -0- 7/2/92
 /CONTACT: Dorea Akers, 203-965-2853, after 6 p.m., 203-968-2360, or Tony Hamilton, 203-965-2853, after 6 p.m., 203-327-2162, or in Washington D.C., Julia Spicer, 202-463-5206, after 6 p.m., 202-797-0715, all of GTE/
 (GTE) CO: GTE Corp. ST: Connecticut IN: TLS SU: RTG


LR -- NY015 -- 6082 07/02/92 10:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1992
Words:377
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