Comcast's new debt given investment grade rating

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:35am
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Comcast Corp.'s new $1.5 billion debt issue received an investment grade rating on Tuesday from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Philadelphia-based Comcast had issued $700 million of debt carrying an interest rate of 5.7 percent, due 2019, and $800 million of debt, at 6.55 percent, due 2039.

S&P gave the new debt a rating of "BBB+" and confirmed all of the company's credit and other ratings at the same grade. The ratings service expects funds from the new debt to be used for refinancing.

The outlook is positive, meaning there's a possibility for further upgrades.

S&P analyst Richard Siderman cited Comcast's "favorable" business position as the nation's largest cable operator, as well as growth of its phone service. Comcast also has high-bandwidth capacity on its network of fiber-coaxial cable lines, enabling it to compete well against satellite TV operators and phone companies.

Siderman noted that Comcast's credit position is poised to improve given increases in cash flow and a financial policy that has become more conservative than in previous years.

As of March 31, Comcast had more than $32 billion of outstanding debt.

Shares of Comcast fell 29 cents to $13.53 on Tuesday.

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