Nov 29 Standard & Poor's today assigned Philadelphia, Pa.-based broadband
cable TV operator and media and entertainment provider Comcast Corp.'s
proposed senior notes issue of an unspecified amount its 'BBB+' issue
level rating. 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 Media LLC. (For the
latest complete corporate credit rating rationale, see Standard & Poor's
research report on Comcast published Oct. 18, 2012.)
RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH
-- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012
-- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008
-- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Rating Each Issue, April 15, 2008
Corporate Credit Rating BBB+/Stable/A-2
Senior Notes BBB+