Huntington Municipal Development Authority, WV Debt Rating Outlook Revised To Stable From Negative On Improving Finances

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday June 28, 2018 11:12
NEW YORK--29 Jun--S&P Global Ratings

NEW YORK (S&P Global Ratings) June 27, 2018--S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook on its 'A' rating on Huntington Municipal Development Authority, W.Va.'s revenue refunding debt, supported by Huntington, to stable from negative and affirmed the rating.

The outlook revision reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion of the city's improving budgetary performance and flexibility, in which available fund balance increased to $4.1 million in fiscal 2017 from $2.5 million in fiscal 2015, coupled with its catching up on deferred pension payments.

"We do not expect to change the rating during the outlook's two-year period. However, we could lower the rating if pension costs and other budgetary pressure were to negatively affect budgetary performance, weakening budgetary flexibility or liquidity, with no plans to correct it," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Michael Mooney. "Although unlikely during the outlook period, if budgetary flexibility and liquidity were to improve to, and be sustained at, higher levels while the city manages pension pressure, we could raise the rating."

The stable outlook reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion of the city's improved budgetary performance and flexibility, which S&P Global Ratings believes will likely remain, at least, adequate. The rating service believes the city's very strong debt profile provides further rating stability.

Revenue bonds represent an interest in lease payments made by Huntington, as lessee, to the authority, as lessor. S&P Global Ratings rates the limited-tax general obligation (GO) debt at the same level as its view of the city's general creditworthiness.

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