Fitch revises Ochsner Clinic Foundation's outlook to positive: 3 things to know

Fitch Ratings has assigned a "BBB+" rating to $250 million of series 2015 taxable bonds and $269.5 million of series 2015 refunding revenue bonds issued on behalf of Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, an entity within New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System.

Fitch also revised OCF's outlook to positive from stable.

Here are three things to know about the rating assignment and outlook revision.

1. The rating assignment was supported by a number of factors, including OCF's liquidity growth and the fact that OCF's strategy to grow as a regional referral center is gaining traction. Referrals have increased every quarter since the first quarter of 2014, according to Fitch.

2. OCF is borrowing approximately $250 million in taxable debt to fund a variety of projects that will provide additional capacity to meet the increasing demand for services. However, Fitch said, a pro forma analysis of the debt shows the debt burden remaining relatively manageable.

3. The positive outlook reflects OCF's improving financial profile. Audited 2014 results show a 1.8 percent operating margin, the strongest over the four-year historical period.


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