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Rating Action:

MOODY'S ASSIGNS Ba1 RATING TO COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.'S SENIOR UNSEC. NOTES AND UPGRADES STORER COMMUNICATIONS SUB DEBT RATING TO Ba3 FROM B1

16 Apr 1997
MOODY'S ASSIGNS Ba1 RATING TO COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.'S SENIOR UNSEC. NOTES AND UPGRADES STORER COMMUNICATIONS SUB DEBT RATING TO Ba3 FROM B1 New York, 4/16/1997 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba1 debt rating to Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.'s $1 billion of senior unsecured notes and upgraded Storer Communications, Inc.'s subordinated debt to Ba3 from B1. Comcast Cable Communications is the intermediate holding company for the group's cable system operations and is wholly owned by Comcast Corp. (senior unsecured (P)Ba2). This is the first time the company is issuing debt at this holding company and the rating reflects the structural subordination of the notes to the bank and insurance company debt at the cable operating companies, which will comprise about two-thirds of the cable division debt. The new rating, as well as the Storer upgrade, are based upon Moody's expectation that Comcast will maintain the improved debt protection measurements at the cable division which resulted from the acquisition of E.W. Scripps' cable television systems last year for Comcast Corp. common stock. While Moody's expects that the environment for cable system operators will become increasingly competitive, we believe that such competition will have a greater impact on those companies which offer poorer services and lack financial flexibility. Comcast's cable business is well positioned to meet these challenges due to its improved financial position and its plans to substantially complete the plant upgrades by the end of 1998. We expect that financial flexibility will improve as a result of intermediate-term reductions in capital expenditures as the cable system upgrades are completed, as well as the lengthened average debt maturities that will result from the proposed financing. The rating of Comcast Cable Communications debt could be adjusted upward if the company permanently shifts the bulk of its indebtedness to the holding company.
Moody's has confirmed the long-term debt ratings of Comcast Corporation (senior unsecured at (P)Ba2) Comcast Cellular Corporation (senior unsecured at B2) and Comcast Cellular Communications Inc. (bank debt rated Ba3) and retained its positive outlook on these ratings. The current ratings reflect the improved operating results and enhanced financial position of Comcast as well as the challenges posed by the inevitable growth of competition within its cable systems and cellular divisions. Moody's believes both of these entities are well positioned to meet the competitive threat due to investments already made to upgrade their networks. In addition, there should be a decline in cash requirements from Comcast's affiliate investments over the intermediate term. To the extent that Comcast's success in operating in a more competitive environment exceeds our expectations or the company takes further steps to improve its financial structure, there is potential for future rating upgrades.
The Comcast Cable notes are being sold in a privately negotiated transaction without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Act") under circumstances reasonably designed to preclude a distribution thereof in violation of the Act. The issuance has been designed to permit resale under Rule 144A.
The ratings being upgraded include Storer Communications Inc.'s subordinated notes and cumulative redeemable exchangeable preferred stock from B1 and "b1" to Ba3 and "ba3", respectively. The confirmed ratings include Comcast's debt shelf registrations rated (P) Ba2 and (P) B1; its Ba2 counterparty rating; its senior subordinated notes, senior subordinate debentures, and convertible subordinated debentures rated B1; its preferred stock shelf registrations rated (P) "b1"; Comcast Cellular Corporation's senior unsecured debt rated B2; and Comcast Cellular Communications' senior secured bank facility rated Ba3.
Comcast Cable is Comcast's cable holding company subsidiary which houses all of the company's majority owned U.S. cable operating companies. These operating companies own and operate systems serving 4.3 million subscribers.
Storer Communications is a holding company which is owned by Comcast Storer Inc., which in turn, is owned by Comcast Cable Communications. It owns and operates cable systems serving nearly one million subscribers and it is a guarantor of bank and insurance company debt at Comcast Storer Inc. which owns additional cable systems.
Comcast Cellular Corporation's operating subsidiary, Comcast Cellular Communications Inc., owns and operates wireless telephone service in an urban and suburban region covering 8.2 net POPs and has over 762,000 subscribers.
Comcast Corporation, with its headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a major cable television system operator, owns and operates cable television programming and is a provider of cellular telephone services.

No Related Data.
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