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IDAHO POWER CO. $200 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Idaho Power Co.'s new offering of up to $200 million first mortgage bonds (secured medium-term notes) is rated 'A+' by Fitch. The company's $485 million outstanding 'A+' first mortgage bonds and $108 million 'A' preferred stock are affirmed. Commercial paper is maintained at 'F-1'. The credit trend is changed from declining to improving.
 The company is one of very few investor-owned utilities with a predominantly hydroelectric base and continues to be among the lowest cost investor-owned providers of electricity in the country. In a normal hydro year, 58 percent of electric power supply would be provided by hydro, 38 percent coal, and 4 percent purchased power.
 Idaho Power's hydro system, however, has not experienced normal stream flows for some years. In 1992, which was the worst water year on record for the company, hydro supplied only 35 percent of power supply, with higher cost coal and purchased power increasing to 52 percent and 13 percent respectively. Hydro conditions will show considerable improvement this year, reflecting the close to normal snowpack experienced during the season just ending. Although stream flows are not anticipated to fully return to normal this year, the supply mix is projected to improve substantially.
 Prior to 1993, the company didn't have an adjustment mechanism to automatically recover increases in power costs. In November 1992, however, management requested implementation of a Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) mechanism, which was approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on March 29, 1993. Under terms of the PCA, rates will be adjusted annually to reflect net power supply costs based upon forecasted supply costs. When the PCA is fully implemented, 90 percent of these costs will be passed through to customers, with shareholders absorbing the remaining 10 percent. Conversely, shareholders would benefit to the extent of 10 percent of any reduction in costs. Adoption of this adjustment mechanism will enhance credit quality by substantially reducing the impact of poor water years.
 In order to meet forecasted load growth of about 1.4 percent per year, some 600 megawatts of resource additions will be required. While capital expenditures for the five years 1988-1992 totaled $437 million, outlays for 1993-1997 will increase to about $700 million. Even so, internal cash is expected to fund 75 percent to 80 percent of capital outlays over this period.
 Idaho Powers's capital structure should remain comparatively strong, with common equity rising slightly to 45 percent of capitalization from 43.4 percent at Dec. 31, 1992. Preferred stock and total debt are expected to range between 8-9 percent and 46-47 percent, respectively, compared with 7.5 percent and 49.1 percent at year-end 1992. Pretax interest coverage, which at 2.50 times(x) for 1992, was substantially below that normally expected for 'A+' electric utilities, is anticipated to recover to about 3.0x in 1993, with further improvement to around 3.25x expected in 1994-95. Proceeds from the current debt offering will refund higher cost indebtedness and contribute to the improved coverage.
 -0- 04/21/93
 /CONTACT: Ken Alterman of Fitch, 212-908-0563/
 (IDA)


CO: Idaho Power Co. ST: Idaho IN: UTI SU: RTG

AH -- NY061 -- 8711 04/21/93 12:03 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1993
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