DULLES, VA--(Marketwire - Oct 11, 2012) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) has maintained its "stable" rating outlook for long-term debt obligations of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) (NYSE: NRU) (NYSE: NRC). S&P also affirmed its credit ratings on CFC of A+ (senior secured), A (senior unsecured) and A-1 (commercial paper).
"CFC and the electric cooperative network have adapted well to the changing economic landscape, reflected in S&P's stable outlook," CFC CEO Sheldon C. Petersen said. "The assessment underscores CFC's strong financial position to meet the capital needs of our electric cooperative member-owners going forward."
S&P highlighted CFC's strong asset quality with electric cooperatives and its access to diverse, low-cost financing, as factors contributing to the latest assessment. S&P also discussed CFC's well-established relationships with its members and its expertise with utilities; its competitive loan pricing compared with commercial banks; and how CFC has maintained adequate capital, leverage and liquidity levels.
"[Our] ratings on CFC reflect the company's strong market position in lending to rural electric utility cooperatives; its funding from the Federal Financing Bank, the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) and its members; and the low credit risk of its loans to electric utilities," S&P said.
The assessment noted CFC's member investments as one of the traits setting it apart from other rated finance companies.
"Members not only borrow from CFC, but they also provide about 20 percent of its debt funding and all of its capital," S&P said. "As of May 31, 2012, CFC's members held about $3.7 billion of commercial paper, daily liquidity funds, medium-term notes and subordinated certificates -- in addition to $483 million in retained earnings."
CFC Ratings Affirmed
Senior Secured: A+
Senior Unsecured: A
Commercial Paper: A-1
The full assessment can be found on CFC's website, www.nrucfc.coop; select Ratings & Research under the Investor Relations tab. The S&P ratings discussed have the meanings assigned to them by the rating agency and are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. They are subject to revision at any time by the rating agency.
The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) is a nonprofit finance cooperative created and owned by America's electric cooperative network. With approximately $20 billion in assets, CFC is committed to providing unparalleled industry expertise, flexibility and responsiveness to serve the needs of its member-owners. CFC can be found online at www.nrucfc.coop.