Standard & Poor's Corp. has raised its rating on several series of bonds and notes for the Lower Colorado River Authority, a publicly owned wholesale power supplier in Austin, Tex.
Released last week, the rating changes include:
* To AA-minus from A-plus for $376.9 million in priority lien series 1987 and 1991.
* To A-plus from A for $910.4 million in refunding bonds issued in 1992-93.
* To Al-plus from A1 for $200 million in commercial paper series B-D.
"The upgrades buck the trend," said Marla Fox, a Standard & Poor's director. "We haven't upgraded any other wholesale electric public utility this year."
Standard & Poor's said the rating upgrades reflect the extension of wholesale contracts through 2016 to the authority's electric power customers, including the city of San Marcos, Tex., which had investigated outside contracts.
In addition, the credit agency said the authority has a long-term commitment to remain among the lowestcost energy providers in Texas and plans to maintain stable rates through fiscal 1999. The Lower Colorado River Authority has low fixed costs and a strong 1.25 times coverage of debt service, comparing favorably with other publicly owned wholesale power suppliers.
The rating agency said the outlook on the bonds is stable because of the competitive cost structure, above-average financial position, and management's ability to address industry changes.