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Loyola receives top bond ratings from national credit agencies

Loyola press release - March 8, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans is in strong financial standing according to two national credit rating agencies. The university was assigned an A1 rating by Moody’s Investor Services and an A+ long-term rating by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services for its 2010 series revenue bonds. Both agencies affirmed the university’s stable outlook and both agencies affirmed their A1 and A+ ratings for the university’s 2006 series revenue bonds.

Bond ratings are a factor in determining the cost of capital for the university when borrowing funds. Loyola recently secured approval in February from the Louisiana State Bond Commission to issue $35 million in revenue bonds for capital improvements at the university, including a renovation to Thomas Hall, and a two-floor addition to West Road parking garage. The bonds issued in 2006, currently outstanding in the amount of $38.5 million, were secured to refinance earlier bond issues.

According to Moody’s and S&P, the high ratings were a result of the agencies’ assessment of the university’s strong leadership team; solid financial planning, management and resources; improved student enrollment; healthy endowment; and improved fundraising efforts.

The stable outlook reflects the agencies’ expectation that the university will maintain a strong balance sheet cushion for debt and operations, robust liquidity, and continue to improve enrollment trends and operating performance.

University President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., said these improved financial ratings mean continued growth and stability for the university and are a direct result of strategic financial and operational planning since Katrina.

“The university was faced with huge losses following Katrina. With thoughtful and conservative planning in finances and operations, aggressive efforts to increase enrollment and a strong spirit of renewal among the university community, we are firmly positioned for growth as we head into our second century of existence,” said Wildes. “This is not only an indicator of Loyola’s recovery, it is also an indicator of the recovery of the city.”

Loyola board of trustees member and donor, David M. Ferris, J.D. ’96, agreed. Ferris, a Loyola College of Law graduate, lives in Boston and is a first vice president with Merrill Lynch. He said the ratings instill great confidence in him, as a donor, that his gift of capital is being managed wisely, and as a trustee, that the university has sound financial goals and objectives.

“The positive momentum at Loyola has been remarkable,” Ferris said. “Loyola’s recent bond ratings are one more example of the tremendous effort and success led by Kevin Wildes and the faculty and staff at Loyola.”

For more information, please contact Meredith Hartley, director of Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs and External Relations, at 504-722-6078 or mhartley@loyno.edu.