Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its rating on Longview, Texas' outstanding general obligation bonds to AA-plus from AA.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its AA-plus rating to the city's series 2013 GO bonds. The outlook is stable.

"The upgrade reflects our recently released local GO criteria and strong conservative budget management," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Edward McGlade, "which has enabled Longview to cash fund significant portion of the capital plan, thereby maintaining a moderate debt burden."

A pledge of the city's full faith credit secure the bonds.

The rating reflects the following factors for the city: its strong economy, which benefits from participation in the broad and diverse economy of Longview area; its very strong budgetary flexibility, with 2012 audited reserves at 35.3% of general fund expenditures; its strong budgetary performance, as the city has been increasing reserves only to draw them down again, but remaining above stated policies; very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures; very strong management with good financial policies which relies on long0term financial forecasting; and adequate debt and contingent liabilities position, which is propped up by a very rapid debt amortization schedule.

"The stable outlook reflects our view of Longview's consistent financial performance and economy, which is supported by good management," added McGlade. The agency does not expect to revise the rating in the next two years because it believes the city will maintain adequate reserves and continue to participate in its broad and diverse metropolitan area.

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