S&P revises Minnesota's Mayo Clinic rating outlook to negative

Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:19am EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services late on Wednesday said it revised Minnesota's Mayo Clinic rating outlook to negative, citing weaker operating performance and additional debt issuance.

The rating agency also assigned a AA long-term rating to the clinic's upcoming sale of $300 million of taxable bonds.

"We revised the outlook to negative to reflect our opinion of Mayo Clinic's weaker operating performance, especially in the second half of 2012, and additional debt with this issue, which we did not expect and did not include in our last rating analysis," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Martin Arrick.

The outlook revision also reflects the impact on the clinic's finances from a sharply lower pension discount rate for the second straight year that pushed up pension contributions, the rating agency said.

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