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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Comcast Corporation's A3/Prime-2 debt ratings and changes rating outlook to stable from positive

14 Jul 2015

New York, July 14, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service affirmed all of Comcast Corporation and its subsidiaries' ("Comcast") ratings and concurrently changed the rating outlook to stable from positive. The following ratings were affirmed: the company's A3 long term senior unsecured debt ratings; the Prime-2 short term rating, Comcast Holdings Corporation's Baa1 rated subordinated notes maturing 10/15/2029 and Baa2 rated subordinated notes maturing 11/15/2029; NBCUniversal Enterprise, Inc's Baa3 rated preferred stock; and all of the company's shelf ratings.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The rating affirmation and change in the rating outlook to stable is driven by our view that Comcast is likely to sustain debt-to-EBITDA leverage at levels consistent with its A3 rating. Looking ahead, Moody's anticipates Comcast will continue to invest in and grow its businesses and that leverage will remain in the 2.0x range (incorporating Moody's standard adjustments) over the intermediate term. Further, we expect the company will continue to sustain robust credit metrics and exhibit strong investment-grade characteristics going forward, including its position as the nation's largest cable-TV system operator, good business diversity and steady EBITDA and free cash flow growth.

Following the termination of the merger agreement with TWC and discussions with Comcast's management regarding its future strategic and financial plans, Moody's anticipates that, rather than pursue a higher rating, the company will continue to maintain a credit profile, including adjusted leverage, commensurate with its existing A3/Prime-2 debt ratings. This will allow it greater financial flexibility to allocate capital opportunistically to growth initiatives and/or shareholder returns.

Based on the company's significant annual free cash flow generation of over $6 billion (LTM 03/31/2015) and sizeable cash balance, we believe that management has some discretion in managing its rating within the A level because it has the financial flexibility to choose between debt reduction and returning funds to shareholders. The outlook change reflects the company's desire to maintain the flexibility to pursue potential tack on investments and acquisitions as well as shareholder distributions.

Comcast's A3 senior unsecured and Prime-2 commercial paper ratings reflect its scale and diverse sources of cash flows, together with its conservative balance sheet management. Comcast has meaningful scale and limited cyclical volatility compared to its large diversified media peers, with advertising accounting for less than 20% of total revenues. The rating is supported by the company's cable operations comprising over 75% of its EBITDA, characterized by relatively stable, less cyclically driven cash flows and steady operating margins generated from its large geographically diverse portfolio of cable systems, and by market buying power resulting from the company's position as the nation's largest cable TV system operator. The company's strong operating fundamentals drive durable levels of profitability and financial flexibility through various economic cycles. Comcast's credit profile continues to derive support from its solid liquidity position, which is strengthened by cash on hand of $3.9 billion (as of 03/31/2015), access to two revolving credit facilities with a combined capacity of $7.6 billion (approximately $6.6 billion available at 03/31/2015) and expectation for annual free cash flows over $5 billion over the next 2-3 years.

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Comcast's EBITDA will grow in the mid-single digit range and debt-to-EBITDA (including Moody's standard adjustments) will be sustained under 2.2x over the next 18-24 months. The outlook also assumes the company will maintain robust liquidity and continue to adopt prudent financial policies over the long term.

What Could Change the Rating - Up

Ratings could be upgraded if adjusted debt-to-EBITDA leverage is sustained under 2.0x (including Moody's adjustments) and management is committed to maintaining a higher rating.

What Could Change the Rating - Down

Erosion of margins and operating cash flow, or a significant decline in subscribers from a more competitive environment could result in a downgrade. Although not anticipated at this time, a large debt-financed acquisition, resulting in adjusted leverage sustained at or above 2.5x could also result in a rating downgrade.

Comcast Corporation, with its headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a global diversified media company with two primary businesses - Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal ("NBCU"). The company derives revenues from five business segments: Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks. Consolidated revenue for the LTM period ended 03/31/2015 was $69 billion.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Large Global Diversified Media Industry published in December 2010. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The following information supplements Disclosure 10 ("Information Relating to Conflicts of Interest as required by Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(J) of SEC Rule 17g-7") in the regulatory disclosures made at the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for each credit rating as indicated:

Moody's was not paid for services other than determining a credit rating in the most recently ended fiscal year by the person(s) that paid Moody's to determine this credit rating.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Neil Begley
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

John Diaz
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's affirms Comcast Corporation's A3/Prime-2 debt ratings and changes rating outlook to stable from positive
No Related Data.
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