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Moody’s upgrades Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating, cites “strong financial position”

LAKE CHARLES, La. — In a show of confidence, national credit rating group Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating this month, citing its “strong financial position” and “conservative debt management strategy.”

The rating, which measures the Port’s creditworthiness, has increased from A3 to A2 on Port revenue bonds.

“Bond rating upgrades like this have been extremely rare since 2008,” said Mike Eason, president of the board of commissioners for the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District. “This upgrade is a testament to the effectiveness of the Port’s entire leadership team, as an upgrade not only confirms the financial strength of an entity but also reflects a high level of confidence in an organization’s management.”

The Port’s total operating revenue has benefited from its success both as an operator of several marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel and as a landlord to Channel industries, according to Moody’s report.

The report also designated the Port’s outlook as “stable,” a sign of its confidence in the future of the organization and the region’s economy.

“The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that financial performance, including very strong coverage ratios and liquidity, will continue over the near term,” the report reads. “Another wave of cargo activity this year boosted by construction of major private projects will support this trend. “

Job growth and sales tax revenues have skyrocketed in Southwest Louisiana over the past several years as a result of major capital investments, many tied to the Port and the Channel. The report said the region’s booming energy sector comprises companies that “thrive in different oil and gas price environments,” helping to diversify and stabilize the economy.

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