TEXT-S&P rates Comcast Corp proposed notes
Jan 8 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today assigned its 'BBB+' issue-level rating to Philadelphia-based broadband cable TV operator and media and entertainment provider Comcast Corp.'s proposed senior notes issue of an unspecified amount, consisting of three maturities: 2023, 2033, and 2043. Existing ratings on the company, including the 'BBB+' long-term and 'A-2' short-term corporate credit ratings, remain unchanged. The long-term rating outlook is stable. We assume that pro forma for the new debt issuance, leverage will remain in the low- to mid-2x area. The ratings reflect Comcast's strong business position as the largest cable TV operator in the U.S., with 22 million video customers as of Sept. 30, 2012, and a cable operating cash flow margin of 40.1% for the third quarter of 2012. While the company's leverage was 2.2x as of Sept. 30, 2012, its "intermediate" financial risk profile reflects our expectation that leverage may increase to the high-2x area over the next several years to fund its eventual buyout of General Electric's remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal. (For the latest complete corporate credit rating rationale, see Standard & Poor's summary analysis on Comcast published Oct. 18, 2012.) RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH -- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012 -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 -- Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 2009 -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008 Temporary contact number: Catherine Cosentino (718-744-8383) RATINGS LIST Comcast Corp. Corporate Credit Rating BBB+/Stable/A-2 New Rating Comcast Corp. Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2023, 2033, And 2043 BBB+ 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.