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Fitch Rates Allstate's Preferred Stock 'BB+'
June 11, 2013 / 1:52 PM / 4 years ago

Fitch Rates Allstate's Preferred Stock 'BB+'

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO/NEW YORK, June 11 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BB+' rating to Allstate's issuance of preferred stock. KEY RATING DRIVERS Allstate's recent issuance of $250 million of 5.625% fixed rate perpetual non-cumulative preferred stock is part of an announced plan to retire approximately $3 billion in outstanding senior debt and subordinated notes funded by a combination of preferred stock, debt and cash. The company has $1.2 billion in debt maturing in 2013 and 2014 which will be included in the capital plan. Based on its rating criteria, Fitch has assigned 100% equity credit to the preferred stock and has added an additional notch to the rating to reflect more aggressive loss absorption features. The security has no stated maturity. Dividends are non-cumulative, and the company has the option to defer them at their discretion. In addition, the security has a mandatory deferral feature that requires deferral if certain capital ratios or operating results are breached. Fitch believes the mandatory deferral could be triggered before there is significant stress in the organization. Therefore, it deems the features as having more aggressive loss absorption. Debt-to-total capital remained appropriate for the current rating category at 27.3% at March 31, 2013, relative to Fitch's median guideline of 28%. This ratio was calculated excluding unrealized investment gains on fixed income securities from shareholders' equity. On June 7, 2013, Fitch affirmed all of Allstate's ratings with a Stable Outlook. RATING SENSITIVITIES Key rating triggers for Allstate that could lead to an upgrade include: --Growth in surplus leading to an improved capitalization profile measured by operating leverage approaching 1.1x and a score of 'Strong' or better on Fitch's proprietary capital model, Prism; --Reduced volatility in earnings from catastrophe losses and better operating results consistent with companies in the 'AA' rating category; --Standalone ratings for Allstate's life subsidiaries could increase if their consolidated statutory Risky Assets/TAC ratio falls below 100% and they are able to sustain a GAAP based Return on Assets ratio over 80 basis points. Key rating triggers for Allstate that could lead to a downgrade include: --A prolonged decline in underwriting profitability that is inconsistent with industry averages or is driven by an effort to grow market share during soft pricing conditions; --Substantial adverse reserve development that is inconsistent with industry trends; --Significant deterioration in capital strength as measured by Fitch's capital model, NAIC risk-based capital and traditional operating leverage. Specifically, if operating leverage, excluding the surplus of the life insurance operations, approached 2.5x it would place downward pressure on ratings; --Significant increases in financial leverage ratio to greater than 30%; --Unexpected and adverse surrender activity on liabilities in the life insurance operations; --Liquid assets at the holding company less than one year's interest expense and common dividends. Fitch has assigned the following rating to Allstate: --5.625% preferred stock 'BB+'. Contact: Primary Analyst Douglas M. Pawlowski,CFA (Allstate Corp. & Allstate Insurance) Senior Director +1-312-368-2054 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 West Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Cynthia J. Crosson (Allstate Life Insurance Co.) Director +1-212-908-0863 Fitch Ratings, Inc. One State Street Plaza New York, New York 10004 Committee Chairperson Julie Burke, CPA, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-3146 Media Relations: Brian Bertsch, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0549, Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. Applicable Criteria & Related Research: --'Insurance Rating Methodology' (January 2013) Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Insurance Rating Methodology — Amended here Additional Disclosure Solicitation Status here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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