Moody's rewards Oakland's "significant improvements"

Bonds upgraded: Moody’s said the upgrades reflect significant improvement in the port’s credit profile Bonds upgraded: Moody’s said the upgrades reflect significant improvement in the port’s credit profile

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Port of Oakland bond ratings and assigned ratings on an upcoming series of refunding revenue bonds after the port has made “significant improvements”.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation of stability in air passenger traffic and marine cargo volume, ongoing vitality in the regional economy and manageable risk in the maritime division, due to the landlord model employed,

“[This] will support financial stability through a period of operational transition and potential short term revenue volatility,” Moody’s said in an announcement.

Moody’s said the upgrades reflect significant improvement in the port’s credit profile, driven by a long-term and ongoing deleveraging, strengthened activity levels, improved debt service coverage ratios and a materially improved cash position. 

It added that it expects continued operational stability in the port's two largest divisions, aviation and maritime.

The upgrades include US$656 million of senior lien bonds to A1 from A2; $324 million of intermediate lien bonds to A2 from A3 and a subordinate lien bank note rating to A3 from Baa1.

Moody’s assigned an A2 rating on four series of intermediate lien refunding revenue bonds expected to be sold June 21. 

The port said proceeds from the sale would be used to refund the port's 2007 intermediate lien bonds.

Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. It supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States.

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