Fitch Ratings upgraded Albany, N.Y.-based St. Peter’s Health Partners to A-minus from BBB-plus.
The upgrade affects $240 million that Fitch rates—series 2011 and 2008A-E bonds. As of Aug. 31 St. Peter’s had $353 million in debt outstanding.
Fitch has a stable outlook on the rating.
St. Peter’s is the dominant health care system in the Albany area, enjoying a 47% market share. The closest competitor is Albany Medical Center with a 27% share.
St. Peter’s has maximum annual debt service of 4.7 times for the first eight months of this year, compared to the 3.8 times median in the A category. This is solid debt service coverage, Fitch director Michael Burger said.
St. Peter’s has good liquidity, low debt levels and minimal borrowing needs, Burger said.
St. Peter’s is a non-obligated affiliate member of CHE Trinity Inc., which Fitch views as a credit strength. CHE Trinity provides a “multitude of benefits to St. Peter’s including managerial, financial, and strategic expertise,” Burger said.
As a negative for the credit, Burger noted that St. Peter’s has a heavy reliance on patients who use Medicaid.
The bonds are secured by a gross revenues pledge and a mortgage on St. Peter’s Hospital.
Fitch upgraded St. Peter’s Friday.