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NORTHERN STATES (WIS.) $110 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern States Power Co. (Wisconsin) (NSPW)'s $110 million 7-1/4 percent first mortgage bonds due March 1, 2023 are rated AA' by Fitch. The issue is taken down from a previously rated shelf registration. The credit trend is stable.
 The ratings for this wholly owned subsidiary of Northern States Power Co. (Minnesota) reflects strong bondholder protection measures, a constructive regulatory environment, and low-risk operations. For the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, the company earned a 13.5 percent return on equity (ROE) with pretax interest coverage of 4.32 times (x). Over the past five years, these ratios averaged 13.2 percent and 4.37x, respectively. The capital structure was also strong at 43.4 percent total debt and 56.6 percent common equity at Dec. 31, 1992. No preferred stock is outstanding.
 Prospectively, rating stability is anticipated. NSPW has no base load generating capacity of its own and purchases about 80 percent of its generating requirements through an interchange agreement with its parent. This off-balance sheet obligation is mitigated by the favorable purchase costs and the parent/subsidiary relationship. Downside risk is limited by a healthy service territory, low-cost operations, minimal acid rain exposure, and the expectation of continued regulatory support of strong credit quality.
 Favorable regulatory policies in Wisconsin mandate that utilities file rate requests annually, using a forecasted test period that permits cost recovery on a relatively current basis. Although the company's last rate order in January reduced the allowed ROE from 12.6 percent to 12.0 percent, it was based on a large common equity component of 56.94 percent. Additionally, the company was authorized 74 percent and 79 percent, respectively, of its requested electric and gas rate requests.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Ed King of Fitch, 212-908-0574/
 (NSP)


CO: Northern States Power Co. ST: Wisconsin IN: UTI SU: RTG

WB -- NY064 -- 3012 03/04/93 12:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1993
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