Moodys.com
Close
Please Note
We brought you to this page based on your search query. If this isn't what you are looking for, you can continue to Search Results for ""
The maximum number of items you can export is 3,000. Please reduce your list by using the filtering tool to the left.
Close
Close
Email Research
Recipient email addresses will not be used in mailing lists or redistributed.
Recipient's
Email

Use semicolon to separate each address, limit to 20 addresses.
Enter the
characters you see
Close
Email Research
Thank you for your interest in sharing Moody's Research. You have reached the daily limit of Research email sharings.
Close
Thank you!
You have successfully sent the research.
Please note: some research requires a paid subscription in order to access.
Already a customer?
LOG IN
Don't want to see this again?
REGISTER
OR
Accept our Terms of Use to continue to Moodys.com:

PLEASE READ AND SCROLL DOWN!

By clicking “I AGREE” [at the end of this document], you indicate that you understand and intend these terms and conditions to be the legal equivalent of a signed, written contract and equally binding, and that you accept such terms and conditions as a condition of viewing any and all Moody’s inform​ation that becomes accessible to you [after clicking “I AGREE”] (the “Information”).   References herein to “Moody’s” include Moody’s Corporation, Inc. and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Terms of One-Time Website Use

1.            Unless you have entered into an express written contract with Moody’s to the contrary, you agree that you have no right to use the Information in a commercial or public setting and no right to copy it, save it, print it, sell it, or publish or distribute any portion of it in any form.               

2.            You acknowledge and agree that Moody’s credit ratings: (i) are current opinions of the future relative creditworthiness of securities and address no other risk; and (ii) are not statements of current or historical fact or recommendations to purchase, hold or sell particular securities.  Moody’s credit ratings and publications are not intended for retail investors, and it would be reckless and inappropriate for retail investors to use Moody’s credit ratings and publications when making an investment decision.  No warranty, express or implied, as the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose of any Moody’s credit rating is given or made by Moody’s in any form whatsoever.          

3.            To the extent permitted by law, Moody’s and its directors, officers, employees, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for: (i) any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with use of the Information; and (ii) any direct or compensatory damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud or any other type of liability that by law cannot be excluded) on the part of Moody’s or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with use of the Information.

4.            You agree to read [and be bound by] the more detailed disclosures regarding Moody’s ratings and the limitations of Moody’s liability included in the Information.     

5.            You agree that any disputes relating to this agreement or your use of the Information, whether sounding in contract, tort, statute or otherwise, shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the State of New York located in the City and County of New York, Borough of Manhattan.​​​

I AGREE
Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades WGL Holdings to Baa1 and Washington Gas Light to A2; outlooks remain negative

09 Jul 2018

Approximately $2 billion of rated debt securities affected

New York, July 09, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") downgraded the long-term ratings of WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL, senior unsecured to Baa1 from A3) and its subsidiary Washington Gas Light Company (Washington Gas, senior unsecured to A2 from A1). WGL's P-2 commercial paper rating and Washington Gas' P-1 commercial paper rating were affirmed. The outlooks remain negative for both companies.

Downgrades:

..Issuer: Washington Gas Light Company

....Pref. Stock Preferred Stock, Downgraded to Baa1 from A3

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)A2 from (P)A1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bonds/Debentures, Downgraded to A2 from A1

..Issuer: WGL Holdings, Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bonds/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa1 from A3

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Washington Gas Light Company

....Outlook, Remains Negative

..Issuer: WGL Holdings, Inc.

....Outlook, Remains Negative

Affirmations:

..Issuer: Washington Gas Light Company

.... Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: WGL Holdings, Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade of WGL and Washington Gas is prompted by the completion of the acquisition of WGL by AltaGas Ltd. (AltaGas, not rated) on 6 July 2018. "While ring fencing provisions established to protect Washington Gas' financial strength are credit positive, the financial profiles of both Washington Gas and WGL have deteriorated markedly over the last two years due to a significant increase in debt to fund elevated capital expenditures" stated Nana Hamilton, Assistant Vice President. "Although we expect equity infusions from AltaGas to WGL following the close of the acquisition to rebalance WGL's capital structure, we do not see credit metrics returning to the historically robust levels that had supported the previous ratings", added Hamilton. The negative outlooks reflect the possibility that financial metrics will remain low or deteriorate further if current financing trends continue without sufficient equity relief and commensurate cash flow growth.

As part of the acquisition, several regulatory ring fencing provisions were put in place to insulate Washington Gas from financial risk associated with the rest of the AltaGas family. Following the transaction close, Washington Gas will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of a bankruptcy-remote Special Purpose Entity (SPE) which will own the equity of Washington Gas and ring fence the utility such that it would likely be excluded from a bankruptcy of AltaGas or its affiliates. Importantly, a voluntary petition for bankruptcy by Washington Gas will require the affirmative consent of the holder of a Golden Share in the SPE, the unanimous vote of the SPE board of directors, and the unanimous vote of the Washington Gas board of directors. We view these ring-fencing provisions as credit positive and largely protective of Washington Gas' credit profile.

Nevertheless, Washington Gas' debt balance has increased over the last two years while funds from operations have remained relatively flat, causing cash flow coverage metrics to decline. At the end of FY2017, Washington Gas' reported debt balance was approximately $1.3 billion, up from approximately $1 billion in 2016 and $800 million in 2015. Further, while we continue to see elevated debt levels at the utility to fund future capital expenditures, we see lower cash flows in the near term, partly due to cash flow leakage from tax reform. Unless these trends are reversed, we project weaker financial coverage metrics, including a cash flow from operations before working capital changes (CFO pre-WC) to debt ratio in the high-teens to 20% range, well below the 28% to 31% exhibited historically.

The merger-related ring-fencing provisions do not extend to WGL, leaving it exposed to financial policies at AltaGas and restricted support and dividends from Washington Gas. In addition, WGL continues to invest significantly in and grow the size and scope of its non-utility businesses with a focus on increasing its regulated gas pipeline assets and contracted commercial energy projects. Although we consider these businesses to have lower risk relative to WGL's retail energy marketing business, we view them as riskier than the rate regulated gas utility business. In FY2017, WGL's non-utility businesses accounted for about 33% of adjusted EBIT and we expect that the non-utility businesses will continue to grow to approximately 50% of total EBIT over the next few years, a credit negative. Non-utility business growth over the last two years has been debt funded given WGL's inability to issue equity while the acquisition by AltaGas was pending. We expect equity infusions from AltaGas following the close of the acquisition to help ease the pressure on WGL's financial profile.

Outlook

The negative outlook reflects our view that the continued funding of Washington Gas and WGL's significant capital programs with increased debt, without commensurate cash flow growth, will likely result in metrics remaining at or below current levels. The negative outlook also reflects the possibility that WGL may be required to support incremental acquisition debt and that equity infusions from AltaGas following the transaction close may not be sufficient to produce financial metrics that support current ratings at WGL and Washington Gas.

What Could Change the Rating -- Up

An upgrade in the near term is unlikely given the negative outlooks for both WGL and Washington Gas. The outlook could be stabilized if WGL receives equity infusions from AltaGas that result in stronger than expected financial ratios on a sustained basis, including CFO pre-WC to debt at or above 19% and 22% for WGL and Washington Gas, respectively. This also assumes credit supportive outcomes in the utility's pending rate case in Maryland and in the upcoming Virginia rate case to be filed in July 2018.

What Could Change the Rating -- Down

The ratings could be downgraded if we see no improvement in cash flow metrics such that the ratio of CFO pre-WC to debt remains below 19% and 22% for WGL and Washington Gas, respectively. The rating could also be downgraded if the regulatory jurisdictions in which Washington Gas operates become less credit supportive.

WGL's rating could be downgraded if ownership by AltaGas was to weaken WGL's credit profile in some form, for example, with respect to a material change in leverage and dividend policies. In addition, WGL's rating could see downward rating pressure if WGL pursues a more highly levered capital structure or if WGL looks to meaningfully grow its higher risk retail energy marketing business. WGL's rating could be downgraded if Washington Gas' rating is downgraded.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Regulated Electric and Gas Utilities published in June 2017. Please see the Rating Methodologies 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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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.

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.

Nana Hamilton
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Jim Hempstead
MD - Utilities
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND/OR ITS CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S (COLLECTIVELY, "PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE SUCH  CURRENT OPINIONS. MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY'S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE CREDIT RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS, NON-CREDIT ASSESSMENTS ("ASSESSMENTS"), AND  OTHER OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ANALYTICS, INC. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND  PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND  PUBLICATIONS DO NOT COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLISHES  ITS PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS, AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS AND IT WOULD BE RECKLESS AND INAPPROPRIATE FOR RETAIL INVESTORS TO USE MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS OR  PUBLICATIONS WHEN MAKING AN INVESTMENT DECISION. IF IN DOUBT YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISER.

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED, DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY ANY PERSON AS A BENCHMARK AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED FOR REGULATORY PURPOSES AND MUST NOT BE USED IN ANY WAY THAT COULD RESULT IN THEM BEING CONSIDERED A BENCHMARK.

All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY'S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process or in preparing its Publications.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability to any person or entity for any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information, even if MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers is advised in advance of the possibility of such losses or damages, including but not limited to: (a) any loss of present or prospective profits or (b) any loss or damage arising where the relevant financial instrument is not the subject of a particular credit rating assigned by MOODY'S.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.

NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY CREDIT RATING, ASSESSMENT, OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.

Moody's Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to Moody's Investors Service, Inc. for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and Moody's investors Service also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of Moody's Investors Service credit ratings and credit rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody's Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY'S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody's SF Japan K.K. ("MSFJ") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO"). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

​​​​​​​​
Moodys.com