TEXT-S&P assigns AT&T notes 'A-' rating
May 22 () - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned its 'A-' issue-level rating to Dallas-based AT&T Inc.'s proposed senior unsecured notes (undetermined amount but denominated in Pound Sterling) due 2044. We expect the company to use net proceeds for general corporate purposes, and we do not expect this transaction to materially impact key credit measures for more than a temporary period. The 'A-' long-term corporate credit rating on AT&T remains unchanged, as do the 'A-2' short-term rating and the stable rating outlook. The ratings on AT&T continue to reflect an overall "strong" business risk profile and a financial risk profile which Standard & Poor's considers "intermediate" (as defined in our criteria), recognizing the company's substantial free operating cash flow generation and adjusted leverage of about 2.6x as of March 31, 2012. Our business risk assessment is based on the combined impact of a strong and growing wireless business, with a wireline segment that we view as having a weaker, but still satisfactory, business risk profile. (For the complete corporate credit rating rationale, see the summary analysis on AT&T, published Jan. 17, 2012, on RatingsDirect.) RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH -- A Matter of Policy: U.S. Cable And Satellite-TV Companies Ratchet Up Shareholder Payouts, May 16, 2012 -- Top 10 Investor Questions: U.S. Telecom and Cable Industries, May 10, 2012 -- Assessing The Four-Notch Rating Gap Between The Two U.S. Direct-To-Home Satellite Video Operators, May 9, 2012 -- Issuer Ranking: U.S. Telecommunications And Cable Companies, Strongest To Weakest, April 26, 2012 -- Industry Report Card: U.S. Telecommunications And Cable: Some Islands Of Weakness In A Relatively Stable Sea, April 25, 2012 -- U.S. Cable Sector Overview: Growth Slows As The Industry Matures, March 21, 2012 -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 RATINGS LIST AT&T Inc. Corporate Credit Rating A-/Stable/A-2 New Rating AT&T Inc. Senior Unsecured Notes due 2044 A- Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column.
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