College of the Holy Cross, MA#s Series 2018A Bonds Rated #AA-#

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday April 12, 2018 11:39
CENTENNIAL--12 Apr--S&P Global Ratings

CENTENNIAL (S&P Global Ratings) April 11, 2018--S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA-' long-term rating to Massachusetts Development Finance Agency's series 2018A revenue bonds, issued for College of the Holy Cross, and affirmed its 'AA-' long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the agency's series 2002, 2007, 2008B, 2016, and 2017 bonds. S&P Global Ratings also affirmed its 'AA+/A-1' rating on the agency's series 2008A revenue bonds, issued for the college. The outlook is stable.

"The stable outlook reflects our opinion that Holy Cross will likely maintain solid full-accrual operating surpluses, stable enrollment, and continue to grow available resources during the next two fiscal years," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Sean Lacy.

We base the 'AA+' long-term rating component on the application of our joint criteria, which incorporates a letter of credit (LOC) from JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., and on the 'AA-' rating on the college's series 2018A bonds. The short-term rating component reflects the 'A-1' short-term rating on JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. The LOC's expiration date is Dec. 15, 2018.

Our rating reflects Holy Cross' very strong enterprise profile, characterized by solid selectivity, graduation, and retention rates, as well as healthy fundraising. We assessed Holy Cross' financial profile as strong with a continued history of solid full-accrual surpluses through fiscal 2017 and robust financial resources ratios. Combined, we believe these credit factors lead to an indicative stand-alone credit profile of 'a+'. In our opinion, the final rating of 'AA-' on Holy Cross' bonds better reflects Holy Cross' significant cash and investments compared with outstanding and pro forma debt.

A general obligation pledge of the college secures the bonds. Management plans to use series 2018A bond proceeds to refund the college's series 2008B bonds.

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