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Fitch, Moody’s assign strong ratings to CCU bond issue

May 13, 2014

Two major credit rating agencies have assigned strong ratings to a $36.6 million revenue bond series issued by Coastal Carolina University. Fitch Ratings has assigned an “A+” rating to the bond issue, and Moody’s Investor Service has assigned an “A1” rating.

The Moody’s report cites CCU’s “stable market position as a regional public university with strong out-of-state student draw, county tax support that can be applied to debt service payments, continued healthy cash flow, and growing flexible reserves.” Fitch’s report notes that CCU’s operation is “driven by stable to growing enrollment and an adequate balance sheet cushion.”

The bonds, expected to sell on or around May 21, will be used to fund the construction of the second phase of the planned student housing facility project.

The Fitch report notes that CCU’s enrollment “has grown steadily over the past several years as demand has remained strong from both in- and out-of-state applicants” and that, although the university has a high pro-forma debt burden, it has “successfully managed through cycles of state cuts.” The report also noted the limited state appropriations CCU receives and the benefits the university derives from the local penny education sales tax.

“These reports recognize the favorable financial position that Coastal Carolina University has attained through effectively managing all aspects of the institution,” said CCU President David A. DeCenzo.