TECO Energy comments on recent rating agency actions
TAMPA, September 24, 2002
TECO Energy, Inc. management today commented on the recent ratings actions by Fitch, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s.
Chairman and CEO Robert D. Fagan said, “It is not a coincidence that all three rating agencies have taken action. In fact, in preparation for a bond refinancing, we furnished each of them with detailed information on our plan for 2003, and asked them to update our ratings. We believe the confirmation of our investment grade rating by all three agencies, two of which indicated that the future outlook for TECO Energy is stable, is an indication of their confidence in our plan for 2003.”
The plan TECO Energy presented to the rating agencies included maintaining its dividend, focuses on continuing growth in its Florida operations, optimizing its independent power investment, and minimizing earnings volatility and external financing needs while maximizing cash flow to support the company’s capital obligations.
Senior Vice President and CFO Gordon L. Gillette said, “Our new ratings meet the requirements imposed by our lending arrangements, and leave us free to move forward and execute our plans as described in our recent outlook release without any renegotiations of bank agreements.”
TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) is a diversified energy-related holding company headquartered in Tampa. Its principal businesses are Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas System, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, TECO Coalbed Methane and TECO Solutions.