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Rating Action:

Moody's Confirms TCI Communications Ratings: Senior Unsecured at Baa3 and Subordinated at Ba2.

27 Jul 1995
Moody's Confirms TCI Communications Ratings: Senior Unsecured at Baa3 and Subordinated at Ba2. New York, 07-27-95 -- Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the debt ratings of TCI Communications Inc. (TCIC). This decision reflects the rating agency's expectation that while the equity funding requirements and imputed debt burden associated with the company's telephony joint venture will retard improvements in TCIC's risk profile over the intermediate term, the company will also be taking steps to retain its credit worthiness and financial flexibility. Company management has publicly stated its desire to maintain TCIC's investment grade credit quality, and they have also committed to achieving substantial reductions in leverage during the remainder of 1995 and 1996. Moody's believes the company's strategy to reach these goals is reasonable and achievable.
The ratings confirmed are: senior unsecured debt issues rated Baa3, subordinated debt issue rated Ba2, shelf registrations rated (P) Baa3 and (P) Ba2, and Prime-3 short-term rating for commercial paper. Also confirmed is the Ba2 senior unsecured rating for debt issued by TCI TKR Cable I, Inc., a TCIC affiliate.
Moody's noted that the combination of reduced financial flexibility stemming from TCIC's participation in the telephony venture and a less predictable operating environment as competitive pressures gradually increase means steady leverage reduction and fixed charge coverage improvement are imperative to maintain bondholder risk at a level consistent with the current rating. The telephony venture and changing competitive environment reduces the agency's comfort level with TCIC's current risk profile, but Moody's also believe the company's position in the converging cable television and telephone industries is likely to remain relatively strong. In addition, the sizeable portfolio of cable television, programming, and other non-telephony investments held by TCIC and its parent company, Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI), has a positive impact on TCIC's long-term liquidity and debt repayment ability.
TCIC's proposed acquisition of Viacom Inc's cable operations will increase the company's consolidated leverage and its capital expenditure requirements if it is completed in early 1996 as proposed. Fixed charge coverage would also be weakened by interest expense and preferred stock dividends associated with the financing of this transaction. However, Moody's believes this transaction may limit future cable system acquisition activity as it would place TCIC near the Federal Communications Commission's horizontal expansion limitations imposed by the Cable Act of 1992. In addition, Moody's believes the acquisition is strategically sound and will enhance the company's business and market positions over the long term.
Although Moody's believes the current ratings are supported by the company's long-term market position and prospects, adverse regulatory developments or unexpectedly large capital expenditures, telephony venture contributions and/or acquisitions could derail management's plan to improve debt protection measures and would put downward pressure on the ratings.
TCI Communications, Inc., with its headquarters in Englewood, Colorado, is the largest U.S. operator of cable television systems.

No Related Data.
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