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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns Aaa rating to University of Virginia's Series 2013A and 2013B refunding bonds and affirms Aaa, Aaa/VMIG 1 and P-1 ratings; outlook is stable

05 Mar 2013

University will have $1.5 billion of pro forma rated debt, including commercial paper program at full $300 million size

New York, March 05, 2013 -- Moody's Rating

Issue: General Revenue Pledge Refunding Bonds, Series 2013A; Rating: Aaa; Sale Amount: $168,760,000; Expected Sale Date: 3-14-2013; Rating Description: Revenue: Public University Broad Pledge

Issue: General Revenue Pledge Refunding Bonds, Series 2013B; Rating: Aaa; Sale Amount: $61,595,000; Expected Sale Date: 2-26-2013; Rating Description: Revenue: Public University Broad Pledge

OPINION

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Aaa rating to the University of Virginia's (UVA) $230 million of General Revenue Pledge Refunding Bonds, Series 2013A and Series 2013B. We have also affirmed our existing Aaa, Aaa/VMIG 1, and P-1 ratings. The rating outlook is stable.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

The Aaa rating reflects the University's superior student market position, $6.0 billion of total financial resources, strong operating performance, and continued donor support. While state funding has been declining, the rating also incorporates operating and capital support from the Commonwealth. Credit challenges include relatively high patient care exposure, material reliance on federal funding through various revenue streams and ongoing capital plans. Moody's short-term P-1 rating on commercial paper and VMIG 1 rating on the Series 2003A bonds reflect the university's support for maturing CP and tenders with internal liquidity combined with bank facilities from three P-1 rated banks.

STRENGTHS

*Excellent student demand with a geographically diverse and academically strong applicant pool for flagship university. In fiscal 2012 net tuition per student increased 8.5% to $16,118.

*Superior balance sheet position for University and affiliated foundations with $6.0 billion in total financial resources as of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.

*Healthy operating performance with a three-year average operating margin of 7.1%, including history of sound performance at the university's medical center, and high revenue diversity.

*Considerable liquidity reflected in 202 monthly days cash on hand combined with manageable amount of demand debt (demand debt of $388 million at FY 2012 for University and affiliated foundations).

*Strong management approach to strategic planning, financial forecasting and risk management should support long-term ability to respond to changing conditions.

*Clearly defined role within higher education goals of Aaa-rated Commonwealth of Virginia, which has granted UVA additional operating autonomy under the State Higher Education Restructuring Act.

CHALLENGES

*More than many Aaa-rated peers, the University derives a substantial and growing portion of its revenues from patient care activities (46.1% of total revenue) which may be substantially more pressured or uncertain than other revenue streams given pressures on state funding for Medicaid and other healthcare reform measures.

*Sound plan to respond to governance issues arising from board leadership driven presidential resignation in June 2012 and subsequent reinstatement. University continues to refine executive review policies and prepare for meeting with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS). SACS placed the university's accreditation on warning status in December 2012.

*Substantial portion of sponsored research funding derived from federal sources (71% in FY 2012), a revenue stream facing likely pressure.

*Ongoing capital improvement plan to be partially funded with debt with an expected approximately $200 million of additional debt through fiscal 2014.

OUTLOOK

The stable outlook reflects our expectation of strong student demand, healthy operating performance, maintenance of superior financial resource levels and manageable future borrowing.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP

Not applicable

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

Material deterioration in balance sheet strength or borrowing beyond that currently expected; weakened operating performance precipitated from operating health of patient care enterprise or other causes.

RATING METHODOLOGIES

The principal methodology used for the underlying rating was U.S. Not-for-Profit Private and Public Higher Education published in August 2011. The principal methodologies used for the commercial paper rating and variable rate demand rating was U.S. Not-for-Profit Private and Public Higher Education published in August 2011 and Rating Methodology for Municipal Bonds and Commercial Paper Supported by a Borrower's Self-Liquidity published in January 2012. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

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.

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.

Dennis M. Gephardt
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Public 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

Jenny L. Maloney
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Public 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 assigns Aaa rating to University of Virginia's Series 2013A and 2013B refunding bonds and affirms Aaa, Aaa/VMIG 1 and P-1 ratings; outlook is stable
No Related Data.
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