Standard & Poor’s last week revised its outlook for the Museum of Modern Art to positive from stable last week while affirming its AA-minus underlying rating.
The move follows an upgrade by Moody’s Investors Service last month to Aa2 from Aa3.
The outlook change affects about $350 million outstanding bonds issued through the New York City Trust for Cultural Resources.
“The positive outlook reflects our expectation that current levels of cash relative to debt are maintained as MoMA receives cash from pledges and any air rights transfer,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Bobbi Gajwani said in a news release. “We expect management to adopt a plan that effectively manages its debt, and highlights its plans for keeping a balance between liquidity and potential future borrowing.”
Standard & Poor’s cited MoMA’s “strong admission and membership trends” after it reopened its renovated museum in 2004 and increased liquidity relative to debt. The museum’s debt coverage ratio in fiscal 2007 was 2.4 times, up from 1.5 times in fiscal 2005. The museum also benefits from solid fiscal management, 11 years of balanced budgets, an experienced management team and an endowment amounting to $842 million, the rating agency said.