S&P Rates Virginia Port Authority Bonds A+

S&P Rates Virginia Port Authority Bonds A+

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'A+' long-term rating to the Virginia Port Authority's series 2010 port facilities revenue refunding bonds.

It also affirmed its 'A+' long-term rating on the authority's port facilities revenue bonds outstanding. It said the outlook is stable.

S&P also affirmed its 'SP-1+' short-term rating on VPA's series 2009 subordinate port facilities revenue bond anticipation notes, which mature May 18, and which the 2010 bond proceeds are to refund.

"The ratings reflect our opinion of the authority's continued good financial performance, despite recent container volume declines due to the global recession," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Adam Torres.

S&P said the ratings reflect what it considers to be a diverse mix of container shipping lines, strong historical debt service coverage by pledged net revenue, and a good competitive position as a natural deep channel port.

The stable outlook reflects S&P’s expectation that debt service coverage based on net pledged revenue will remain strong, meeting or exceeding projections.

It said the outlook also reflects the VPA’s prudent management of its capital improvement program.

Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.