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Moody's Investors Service assigns A1 ratings to three ASU-Jonesboro bond issues


JONESBORO – Action by a New York firm Monday reflected positively on Arkansas State University’s financial stability and management practices, according to Dr. Len Frey, vice chancellor for finance and administration.

Moody’s Investors Service in New York Monday assigned A1 ratings to the university's proposed $21.1 million revenue and revenue refunding bonds, including three issues totaling $6.73 million for facility projects at the Jonesboro campus.

The three issues include Housing System Revenue Bonds, in the amount of $4,185,000, for the remaining costs of the Greek housing (Sorority Row) project; Housing System Revenue Bonds, in the amount of $1,170,000, for remaining costs associated with the Honors Living Learning Community expansion project; and Student Fee Revenue Bonds, in the amount of $1,375,000, for improvements to Kays Hall.

The first two series are expected to be sold Tuesday, Nov. 27, and the third is expected to be sold on Nov. 28.

Moody’s also assigned A1 ratings to proposed bond issues at the Beebe, Mountain Home, and Newport campuses.

“Moody's Investors Service has assigned A1 ratings to Arkansas State University's various fixed-rate Series 2012 Revenue Refunding Bonds, and Revenue Bonds for the university's four campuses,” the company said in a news release.  “The rating outlook is stable. Moody's maintains A1 ratings on several series of prior revenue bonds.”

The A1 rating and stable outlook “. . . are based on the university's role as the second largest provider of higher education in Arkansas, diverse revenues supporting balanced operating performance, strengthening market position, and manageable debt burden,” according to the announcement from Moody’s.

The stable outlook also is based on Moody's expectation “that Arkansas State University will continue to experience solid student demand trends for its undergraduate and graduate programs, with healthy system-wide financial resource levels and favorable debt service coverage. The outlook also incorporates limited additional borrowing without commensurate growth in financial resources.”

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