Fitch Upgrades Lakeland Bond Ratings

According to a press release sent out by Fitch Ratings, the company has slightly upgraded their rating outlook of a pair of Lakeland “variable-rate energy system revenue and refunding bonds.”

Fitch assigns an underlying ‘A+’ rating to the City of Lakeland, Florida’s (the city) $100 million series 2008A and $100 million series 2008B variable-rate energy system revenue and refunding bonds. Fitch also affirms the ‘A+’ rating on the city’s $366 million outstanding system revenue bonds. The Rating Outlook is revised to stable from Negative.

Those of you who attended high school may be very impressed with the A+ rating. The “A” rating is actually the third rating tier below “AAA” and “AA.” The A rating means that the economy may affect bonds.

While the expiration of the bad contract was the main reason for the Negative to Stable Rating Outlook, Lakeland Electric detractors may be surprised that Fitch also praised the City Council and the company’s management team.

Additional factors included in our analysis includes the city’s broad service area and the Electric System’s predominantly residential customer base. The system has proven cost recovery mechanisms and historical financial metrics that compare well to similarly rated utilities.

Read the full press release.