Standard & Poor's ratings report card says 52 of 68 issuers have non-investment grade ratings and 34 have negative ratings outlooks

August 6, 2002

6 Min Read

NEW YORK -- More than three-quarters of U.S. telecommunications and cable television companies have non-investment grade corporate credit ratings, according to a report released today by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. Of the 68 issuers included in the report, 52 are rated 'BB+' or lower while 16 are regarded as investment grade. The U.S. Telecom & Cable TV Ratings Report Card examines the key issues affecting credit quality across the industry, with individual commentary on issuers ranging from cable TV companies, diversified telecommunications companies, wireless companies, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and rural local exchange carriers (RLECs)."The challenges faced by the telecommunications and cable TV industries are daunting, particularly with the fallout from problems experienced by WorldCom and Adelphia Communications further eroding investor confidence in these sectors," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Richard C. Siderman, managing director for telecommunications and cable. "Standard & Poor's sees the outlook for the balance of the year to be generally negative.""However, it is important not to paint all issuers with the same brush. Many telecom companies maintain strong market positions in solid business segments despite the pessimism overhanging this industry. This is particularly true of the regional Bell operating companies, three of which are rated 'A+' or higher," Mr. Siderman added.Overall, in addition to the low percentage of investment grade ratings, 34 of the 68 issuers have negative ratings outlooks, while only two have positive outlooks, indicating further downward pressure on telecom and cable TV ratings.Table 1: S&P's Ratings Report Card

Issuer

Rating

Outlook

SBC Communications Inc.

AA-

Stable

BellSouth Corp.

A+

Stable

Cellco Partnership (d/b/a Verizon Wireless)

A+

Negative

Cingular Wireless LLC

A+

Stable

Verizon Communications Inc.

A+

Negative

ALLTEL Corp.

A

Negative

Intelsat Ltd.

A

Negative

Telephone & Data Systems Inc.

A-

Negative

AT&T Corp.

BBB+

Watch Negative

CenturyTel Inc.

BBB+

Stable

AT&T Wireless Services Inc.

BBB

Stable

Citizens Communications Co.

BBB

Negative

Comcast Corp.

BBB

Watch Negative

Cox Enterprises/Cox Communications/Cox Radio

BBB

Stable

Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico Inc.

BBB

Stable

Sprint Corp.

BBB-

Stable

Cablevision Systems Corp.

BB+

Negative

Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc.

BB

Watch Negative

Broadwing Inc.

BB

Stable

Charter Communications Inc.

BB

Negative

GCI Inc.

BB

Stable

Insight Midwest L.P.

BB

Stable

Mediacom Communications Corp.

BB

Stable

Hughes Electronics Corp.

BB-

Watch Negative

Infonet Services Corp.

BB-

Stable

American Tower Corp.

B+

Stable

Block Communications Inc.

B+

Stable

Centennial Communications Corp.

B+

Negative

Crown Castle International Corp.

B+

Stable

D&E Communications Inc.

B+

Positive

Dobson Communications Corp.

B+

Stable

Echostar Communications Corp.

B+

Watch Positive

FairPoint Communications Inc.

B+

Negative

Nextel Communications Inc.

B+

Negative

Northland Cable Television Inc.

B+

Negative

Qwest Communications International Inc.

B+

Watch Developing

Rural Cellular Corp.

B+

Stable

Time Warner Telecom Inc.

B+

Negative

Triton PCS Inc.

B+

Stable

Valor Telecommunications LLC

B+

Stable

Loral Space & Communications/Loral Cyberstar

B

Negative

Madison River Telephone Company LLC

B

Stable

NTELOS Inc.

B

Negative

SBA Communications Corp.

B

Stable

US Unwired Inc.

B

Stable

Western Wireless Corp.

B

Watch Negative

Airgate PCS

B-

Watch Negative

Alamosa Holdings LLC

B-

Watch Negative

Horizon PCS Inc.

B-

Watch Negative

Insight Communications Co. Inc.

B-

Stable

Leap Wireless International Inc.

B-

Watch Negative

Nextel Partners Inc.

B-

Stable

Ubiquitel Inc.

B-

Stable

Primus Telecommunications Group Inc.

CCC+

Negative

RCN Corp.

CCC+

Negative

Allegiance Telecom Inc.

CCC

Watch Negative

Level 3 Communications Inc.

CCC

Negative

Pac-West Telecomm Inc.

CCC

Watch Negative

American Cellular Corp.

CCC-

Watch Negative

Choice One Communications Inc.

CCC-

Watch Negative

Genuity Inc.

CCC-

Watch Negative

KMC Telecom Holdings Inc.

CCC-

Watch Negative

SpectraSite Holdings Inc.

CC

Watch Negative

Adelphia Communications Corp.

D

NM

Evercom Inc.

D

NM

ITC DeltaCom Inc.

D

NM

NII Holdings

D

NM

WorldCom Inc.

D

NM



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