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Fitch Rates Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's Revs at 'AA-'; Outlook Stable

Fitch Rates Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's Revs at 'AA-'; Outlook Stable

Buisness Wire

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AA-' rating to $400.7 million of second senior revenue bonds, Series 2016 B&C, issued by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). Fitch has also affirmed the 'AA-' rating on approximately $880.3 million of outstanding second senior revenue bonds. The Rating Outlook is Stable.   

The 'AA-' rating reflects the turnpike system's demonstrated mature and stable traffic profile and significant rate-making flexibility. In addition, the system's financial profile throughout the forecast period remains strong, after factoring in a total estimated issuance of $1.1 billion for the authority's Driving Forward Program from 2016 to 2018. The rating further reflects the availability of motor fuel excise tax (MFET) revenue which enhances debt service coverage ratios (DSCR) to the current rating level. In fiscal 2015, the authority had strong coverage and low leverage of 2.38x (1.91x w/out MFET) and 3.08x (3.83x w/out MFET), respectively. While financial metrics are expected to deteriorate slightly with future large debt issuances, Fitch's rating case coverage and leverage projections demonstrate resilience to additional economic stresses. OTA's current and forecasted metrics line up with peers at the 'AA-' rating level when non-toll revenues (MFET) are included. However, to the extent MFET revenues were not available the rating would likely be fall into the 'A' category given the projected future debt issuance... FULL ARTICLE

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