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PUGET SOUND P&L $200 MILLION PREFERRED SHELF RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 PUGET SOUND P&L $200 MILLION PREFERRED SHELF RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Puget Power's $200 million preferred stock shelf registration is rated 'BBB+' by Fitch. An initial takedown of $75 million is expected on March 18. Puget's outstanding first mortgage bonds and secured medium term notes are affirmed at 'A-', preferred stock 'BBB+', and commercial paper 'F-2'. The credit trend is stable.
 The ratings reflect Puget's healthy service territory, above average sales and customer growth, and a newly implemented rate plan that should enhance earnings stability. The rate plan is compatible with Puget's resource strategy, which relies heavily on third party power purchases and conservation.
 Puget plans to meet its growing load requirements without constructing any new base load generating capacity. Instead, the company plans to continue its traditional reliance on the regional hydro-based power surplus, expansion of its transmission capability to access additional resources in California, the Southwest, and Canada, non-utility generation and conservation.
 In October 1991, the company implemented a rate adjustment mechanism, approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), that is compatible with this strategy. The annual rate adjustment, designed to remove financial disincentives for energy conservation, provides for recovery of lost sales due to conservation, rate base recognition of conservation investments, and recovery of purchase power costs. The periodic rate adjustment mechanism also includes a hydro adjustment provision that is similar to the Energy Cost Adjustment Clause abolished in 1990.
 Prospectively, Fitch expects credit quality to be stable. However, expanding the transmission network will increase expenditures and will require regulatory support, probably in the 1992-1993 time-frame.
 -0- 3/13/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Hornick of Fitch, 212-908-0564/
 (PSD) CO: Puget Sound P&L ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: RTG


AH -- NY049 -- 7884 03/13/92 14:47 EST
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Date:Mar 13, 1992
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