PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF COLORADO $322.667 MILLION FIRST COLLATERAL TRUST BONDS (SHELF) RATED 'BBB+'
CHICAGO, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus) to Public Service Company of Colorado's shelf registration for $322.667 million of first collateral trust bonds, to be offered shortly. Proceeds will be used to refund outstanding first mortgage bonds. A like amount of first mortgage bonds will be pledged as collateral for the new bonds and will remain pledged until all outstanding first mortgage bonds are retired. Additional equity issuances and regulatory support will be necessary for improvement in Public Service Company of Colorado's credit fundamentals. The company is highly dependent on purchased power, which lowers reported coverages. Earnings, coverages and cash flows will be pressured as a result of the Public Utilities Commission of Colorado's (CPUC) recent rate order. Effective Dec. 1, the company's revenues were reduced by about $7 million and the authorized return on equity was lowered to 11 percent. Positively, management is increasing efforts to focus on its core utility business and divest of poorly performing non-utility businesses and investments. The rating recognizes the risks inherent with the decommissioning of the Fort St. Vrain nuclear plant. The CPUC previously approved recovery of $124 million over 12 years for decommissioning expenses. The decommissioning process is on schedule and within budget. Public Service Company of Colorado provides electric and gas service in an area with an estimated population of 2.7 million. -0- 12/7/93 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
CO: Public Service Company of Colorado ST: Colorado IN: UTI SU: RTG
JG -- NY044 -- 1278 12/07/93 12:18 EST
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|Date:||Dec 7, 1993|
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