Ratings agency upgrades Methodist Hospitals bonds 

Feb 21

Courtesy of the Times GARY | Fitch Ratings, one of the three major credit rating agencies, has upgraded Methodist Hospitals bond issues to BBB– from BB+, the hospital announced Monday.

The ratings agency cited Methodist's consecutive years of improving profitability, consistent and healthy liquidity, effective expense control and improving medical staff stability, according to a news release.

Bond ratings at BBB- or higher are considered investment grade.

In 2010, Methodist Hospitals posted a 1.9 percent operating margin and 10 percent operating EBITDA, which compare favorably with Fitch's BBB medians of 1.7 percent and 8.5 percent , respectively. Methodist Hospitals' total revenues in 2010 were $289.9 million, according to a news release. The hospital said results for 2011 will exceed its 2010 performance.

"We are gratified to have our strength and stability confirmed by a key authority. This move by Fitch is a strong signal that the financial markets have confidence in Methodist Hospitals' stability and direction," said Methodist Hospitals President and CEO Ian E. McFadden in a statement.

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