Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital downgraded by S&P

S&P has lowered its rating on revenue debt issued by Albany Dougherty County Hospital Authority on behalf of Albany, Ga.-based Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital to "A+" from "AA-."

The rating downgrade was based on Phoebe Putney's worse-than-projected results for fiscal 2014, and its weak operating performance in fiscal 2015.

The hospital's strengths were also considered for the rating action, such as its strong balance sheet, which is highlighted by low debt and unrestricted reserves in line with the "A+" rating category.

"We could lower the rating if management cannot successfully implement its strategic initiatives that would allow it to meet budgeted expectations in fiscal 2015 or if the balance sheet were to weaken significantly," said S&P credit analyst Margaret McNamara.

Phoebe Putney's outlook is negative. S&P revised the hospital's outlook to negative from stable in February 2014.

"We could revise the outlook to stable if operating performance were to improve materially such that it meets budgeted expectations for fiscal 2016 and that management maintains the balance sheet at or near current levels," said Ms. McNamara.

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