As you will see, Moody's has affirmed the College's Baa1 rating and upgraded its outlook from negative to stable. An upgrade in outlook is significant as Moody's has the entire higher education sector under a negative outlook.
The ratings update summarizes Moody's assessment of the College's strengths and weaknesses as well as factors that could make the College's rating go up or down. Key factors that could increase the College's rating include growth in unrestricted and expendable (liquid) financial resources (from operations or gifts) as well as additional modifications to the College's debt structure towards traditional fixed rate debt without a swap agreement. Key factors that could decrease the College's rating include a drop in unrestricted and expendable financial resources and/or covenant violations.
In summary, I am pleased that Moody's has acknowledged the progress the College has made on several fronts. I am also pleased that Moody's has improved its outlook for Saint Mary's beyond the negative outlook it has for the entire higher education sector.
Peter A. Michell
Vice President for Finance