Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed American Public Media Group’s A2 rating and revised its outlook to stable from negative ahead of a $9.4 million refunding next month.
The action affects $63 million of outstanding debt issued or guaranteed by APMG. The bonds are being issued through the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
Analysts attributed the outlook change to the nonprofit’s “moderation of debt growth and expectations of continued good liquidity cushioning total debt, most of which is variable rate.”
The rating reflects APMG’s market position as a prominent provider of noncommercial national and regional radio programming, with particular strength as the nearly exclusive provider in Minnesota. APMG enjoys strong investment liquidity and good coverage of demand debt, and diversified revenue sources.
The media enterprise’s challenges include a debt structure that is 75% variable rate.
Minnesota Public Radio is the largest subsidiary of APMG. Its statewide network is comprised of 40 radio stations and 42 translator stations in Minnesota, Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, together serving over 914,000 listeners weekly. MPR is the nation’s second-largest producer of distributed public radio programs.
APMG had total revenues of $104 million last year. It has seen operating losses over the last three years but hopes to narrow losses in fiscal 2010 through cost cuts and management initiatives. APMG enjoys unrestricted resources of $125 million, 77% of its total financial resources.