Standard

S&P Revises Outlook of TXU and Subsidiaries to ‘Negative’

Despite affirming its “BBB+” rating on Dallas-based TXU Corp., Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said that it has revised the outlook for the electricity and gas provider and its subsidiaries to “negative” from “stable.” The rating agency pointed out that the company has about $18.7 billion in debt outstanding.

September 30, 2002

Diversification Leads Moody’s, S&P to Cut Peoples’ Ratings

Following similar action taken by Moody’s Investors Service earlier in the week, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said Thursday that it lowered its corporate credit rating on Peoples Energy Corp. to “A-” from “A+” with a current outlook of stable. The agency noted that Chicago-based Peoples Energy has about $946 million in outstanding debt. In addition, S&P lowered the corporate credit rating on Peoples Energy’s Peoples Gas Light & Coke Co. subsidiary to “A-” from “AA-“.

September 30, 2002

S&P Downgrades Peoples Energy on Nonregulated Business Concern

Following similar action taken by Moody’s Investors Service earlier in the week, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said Thursday it is lowering its corporate credit rating on Peoples Energy Corp. to “A-” from “A+” with a current outlook of stable. The agency noted that Chicago-based Peoples Energy has about $946 million in outstanding debt. In addition, S&P lowered the corporate credit rating on Peoples Energy’s Peoples Gas Light & Coke Co. subsidiary to “A-” from “AA-“.

September 27, 2002

S&P Downgrades Reliant Resources to ‘Junk’

Cutting the credit rating of Reliant Resources Inc. (RRI) and related entities to “junk” status Friday, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said the ratings for the companies will remain on negative CreditWatch until debt and credit facility questions can be resolved.

September 16, 2002

PJM Official Questions Hourly Bidding Approach in FERC’s SMD

An official with PJM Interconnection last Tuesday questioned whether FERC’s recently unveiled proposal for a standard market design (SMD) in U.S. wholesale electricity markets makes the right call in proposing to allow for hourly bidding on energy transactions without any types of restrictions.

September 16, 2002

S&P Downgrades Reliant Resources to ‘Junk’

Cutting the credit rating of Reliant Resources Inc. (RRI) and related entities to “junk” status Friday, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said the ratings for the companies will remain on negative CreditWatch until debt and credit facility questions can be resolved.

September 16, 2002

S&P Cuts Ratings on NRG to CCC

Xcel Energy subsidiary NRG Energy is fast approaching the basement of junk bond ratings levels. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered its credit ratings to CCC from B-plus last Thursday due to NRG’s urgent need to sell off a massive number of power generation assets in order to meet a $1.3 billion collateral payment deadline of Sept. 13 or convince lenders it will be able to make the payments soon. S&P also lowered its credit rating on NRG Northeast Generating LLC’s bonds and NRG South Central Generating LLC’s bonds to CCC.

September 2, 2002

Bidding on El Paso Turned-Back Capacity Closes Despite Pleas for Extension

Bidding for turned-back capacity on El Paso Natural Gas came to a close at 8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Friday, despite a last-minute plea by a group of full-requirements (FR) shippers for FERC to postpone the closing deadline, and a challenge by California regulators and utilities to El Paso’s decision to give FR shippers preferential access to the capacity. The bidding was seen as a critical first step in the FERC-ordered plan to convert all of the FR shippers on El Paso to contract-demand (CD) service by Nov. 1 of this year, and end a years-long dispute over the disparate manner in which capacity has been allocated on the pipeline.

August 12, 2002

S&P: Ratings Trend for U.S. Power Firms ‘Decidedly Negative’

The ratings trend for U.S. investor-owned electric and gas and electric utilities remains “decidedly negative,” with the average rating now at BBB+, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings services said last week in a report card on U.S. utilities.

August 12, 2002

S&P Reduces Williams Cos. Ratings to Junk

Williams Cos. took on more water Tuesday as Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered the energy giant’s corporate credit rating two notches to “BB+” (junk bond status) from “BBB.” The move followed the company’s second quarter outlook released Monday, which precipitated a stock price drop-off to a 20-year low in trading that day, and sparked speculation that cash-strapped Williams could become the target of a takeover (see Daily GPI, July 23). Williams Cos. stock closed at $1.19 after an 82-cent (40%) plummet in Tuesday’s trading.

July 24, 2002