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Rating Action:

Moody's confirms Prudential Financial (A3 senior debt); stable outlook

30 Jun 2008
Moody's confirms Prudential Financial (A3 senior debt); stable outlook

Approximately $30 billion of securities affected.

New York, June 30, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the credit ratings of Prudential Financial, Inc. (Prudential - NYSE: PRU -- senior debt at A3) and its affiliates, concluding a review for possible upgrade that was begun on December 5, 2007. The outlook on the ratings is now stable.

Moody's said that Prudential is well situated at its current ratings and that the company's competitive position and profitability in both the company's global insurance and asset management operations has improved over the last several years. According to the rating agency, Prudential's ratings are anchored by its improved earnings capacity and the benefits from multiple sources of earnings and cash flow through business line, geographic and product risk diversification.

Moody's also noted that it viewed the company's financial and operating leverage profile as appropriate for its operating subsidiaries' current Aa3 insurance financial strength (IFS) and A3 holding company senior debt ratings. Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer, Ann Perry commented that "Prudential's adjusted financial leverage at year-end 2007 was in the low 30% range and it is expected to increase over the next twelve months, which would make it considerably higher than the company's Aa2 and Aa3 IFS peers." However, Perry added that because of the inherent stability of cash flows servicing the $1.7 billion of debt associated with the Closed Block Business, the equity associated with the Closed Block Business is somewhat more leverageable than the equity associated with the company's other businesses. The rating agency commented that it remains concerned about the growth in debt, both operating and financial, related to Prudential's non-insurance businesses.

Moody's remarked that Prudential's acquisitions over the past several years have helped to strengthen the enterprise's market position and financial profile. The rating agency noted that Prudential's acquisitions in the US have enhanced the company's market position, as well as its product and distribution capabilities, and provided scale efficiencies in the annuities and retirement businesses. Perry added that "the company is also benefiting from its strong and profitable growth opportunities in its international insurance operations."

Moody's noted that through its asset gathering operations, Prudential had exposure to equity market volatility and it also had mark-to-market risk as a result of its exposure to structured securities. However, the rating agency added that it believed that these risks were well managed and did not compromise the strong statutory capital position of Prudential's insurance subsidiaries.

The rating agency said that factors that could change the Prudential ratings upward are: reducing adjusted financial leverage to the low 30% range; continued improvement in GAAP and statutory operating earnings and net income resulting in sustainable ROEs for the U.S. life insurance operations of 13% or higher; improving cashflow coverage to above 6 times consistently; improving earnings coverage to above the 8 times range consistently; and in-market acquisitions that increase the company's scale and/or help to decrease business risk.

Moody's noted that factors that could have downward pressure on the ratings of Prudential include the following: adjusted financial leverage rising above 40%; cashflow coverage of less than 4 times; earnings coverage of less than 8 times, significant credit impairments in the investment portfolio; and reduced profitability, resulting in sustained ROE for the U.S. life operations of less than 10% .

Moody's last rating action taken on Prudential Financial was on June 24, 2008 when the rating agency assigned a Baa1 subordinated debt rating to the company's Junior Subordinated Notes due 2068.

The following ratings were confirmed with a stable outlook:

Prudential Financial, Inc. -- long-term issuer rating and senior unsecured debt rating of A3; provisional subordinated debt rating of (P)Baa1; provisional preferred stock rating of (P)Baa2; short-term issuer rating and short-term debt rating for commercial paper of Prime-2;

Prudential Financial Capital Trusts II and III -- provisional trust preferred stock rating of (P)Baa1;

PRICOA Global Funding I -- senior secured debt rating of Aa3;

Prudential Holdings LLC -- "unwrapped" senior secured debt rating of A2;

Prudential Holdings LLC -- "wrapped" (by XLCA) senior secured debt rating of A2;

Prudential Funding, LLC -- senior unsecured debt rating of A1;

Prudential Insurance Company of America -- insurance financial strength rating of Aa3;

Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company -- insurance financial strength rating of Aa3;

Pruco Life Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength rating of Aa3.

The following ratings were affirmed with a stable outlook:

Prudential Holdings LLC -- "wrapped" (by FSA) senior secured debt rating of Aaa;

Prudential Funding, LLC -- short-term debt rating for commercial paper and extendible commercial notes of Prime-1;

(The) Gibraltar Life Insurance Company, Ltd. -- insurance financial strength rating of Aa3.

Prudential Financial, Inc. is an insurance and investment management organization headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. As of March 31, 2008, the company had total assets of approximately $478 billion and total shareholders' equity of $22.7 billion.

Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability of insurance companies to repay punctually senior policyholder claims and obligations.

For more information, visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.

New York
Ann G. Perry
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Robert Riegel
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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