Cooper University Health Care gets another credit rating upgrade

Moody's Investors Service has raised Cooper University Health Care's revenue bond ratings from "Baa1" to "A3" less than five weeks after S&P Global Ratings increased the health system's credit rating.

Moody's said it expects Cooper's operating margins will be maintained through execution of its performance improvement plan and strong growth in key service lines. 

Cooper has about $312 million of debt outstanding, according to Moody's, which revised the system's outlook to stable from positive at the higher rating level. 

"With expectations for operating cash flow margins to stabilize at roughly 9 percent, cash balances will continue to grow and provide for strengthening of days cash on hand and cash to debt," Moody's said in a Jan. 6 news release. "Capital spending will increase considerably over the next several years which underscores the need to sustain solid margins."

Cooper is expected to begin construction on a $2 billion expansion this year and plans to to sign a definitive agreement to merge with Cape Regional Health System in Cape May Court House, N.J., in March.

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