Port Authority Credit Outlook Now Negative by Moody’s

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site and operates the three major New York-area airports, had its credit outlook cut to negative from stable by Moody’s Investors Service.

The revision comes a day before the authority plans to take interest-rate bids from underwriters on $300 million in tax- exempt debt. Moody’s rates the offering Aa2, its third-highest and one level above Fitch Ratings, which assigned a stable outlook.

“The negative rating outlook reflects exposure to a prolonged economic recovery in the service area that could depress forecasted revenue growth,” Maria Matesanz and Kurt Krummenacker, Moody’s analysts, wrote in a report.

The 89-year-old Port Authority’s facilities include two tunnels and four bridges between New York and New Jersey, six marine terminals, a ferry service and five airports, including Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia. It has $13.8 billion of debt outstanding rated by Moody’s.

“Our credit ratings and our financial health remain strong,” Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the authority, said in an e-mail. “We will continue to manage our operating budget and capital plan with fiscal discipline as we navigate through these difficult economic times.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan A. McGrail in New York at bmcgrail@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.