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LACLEDE GAS $25 MIL. FIRST MTGE. BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Laclede Gas Co.'s (NYSE: LG) proposed $25 million first mortgage bonds are rated `AA-' by Fitch. The `AA-' rating on the company's outstanding first mortgage bonds is affirmed. The new issue is a takedown from a $100 million shelf registration filed on April 13, 1993. Proceeds will be used to refund higher-cost debt. The credit trend is stable.
 The rating affirmation reflects Fitch's expectation of continued recovery in Laclede's financial protection measures following weather- related weakening. Gas sales during the 1992-1993 winter months were up significantly due to near normal weather conditions. A combination of eight consecutive warm winters, a recessionary economy, and temporary above-average system spending had weakened prior years' financial performance materially. Pretax interest coverage for the 12 months ended March 31, 1993 was 3.6 times (x), up from 2.7x for the year earlier. The balance sheet remains relatively conservative at 56 percent equity and 44 percent debt.
 Laclede should benefit going forward from ongoing system expansion, a stable service territory, and balanced state PSC regulation. A $13.5 million rate increase, effective Sept. 1, 1992, which included higher monthly customer charges, will help moderate the negative effect of warm weather should it occur in the future.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Ralph Pellecchia of Fitch, 212-908-0586/
 (LG)


CO: Laclede Gas Co. ST: Missouri IN: OIL SU: RTG

TM -- NY101 -- 2242 04/28/93 16:16 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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