Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ratings Agencies On Constellation/EdF Joint Venture

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings service downgraded Constellation based on the condition that separated Constellation from BGE financially and legally. S&P lowered Constellation’s ratings to BBB- from BBB, one step above junk bond status.

The ratings agency upgraded Baltimore Gas & Electric to BBB+ from BBB.

The assessment by S&P was that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) order was supportive of BGE, while not unduly onerous on Constellation. Constellation was removed from S&P’s “CreditWatch negative” status, which is a warning that the company’s credit rating could be downgraded during the next review.

Fitch Ratings rates Constellation BBB- and BGE is rated BBB.

Shares of Constellation’s stock gained 89 cents, or 2.88 percent, Monday to close at $31.81. Constellation reported a third-quarter profit of $137.6 million, or 69 cents per diluted share. That's compared with a loss of $225.7 million, or $1.27 cents per diluted share, due to write-downs in its commodities operations in the corresponding period last year. Constellation also raised its 2009 earnings guidance by 15 cents to between $3.25 and $3.45 per share. (The Daily Record, 11/2/09, Balti Sun, 10/30/09))

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