Adventist HealthCare Assigned BBB Bond Rating by S&P Global Ratings
Ratings agency cites healthcare provider’s "remarkably consistent operations"
Gaithersburg, MD – Adventist HealthCare (AHC) has been assigned the favorable investment grade bond rating of BBB by S&P Global Rating in anticipation of the healthcare system’s recently-completed bond issue. The rating "reflects AHC's consistent operating performance, leading market position, and expanding geographic footprint, as well as modest but increasing balance-sheet strength," cited the S&P report. The ratings agency emphasized Adventist HealthCare’s "remarkably consistent operations" as a strong indicator of future stability.
"We are excited and encouraged that S&P has recognized the strength of our organization," said Terry Forde, Adventist HealthCare President and CEO. "We look forward to the positive impact the bond issue will have on our continued ability to advance our mission to provide world-class healthcare services in our community."
Adventist HealthCare issued a new series of tax-exempt bonds this month as part of the company’s plan to fund capital investments to upgrade facilities. A portion of the bond issue will fund the building of a new patient tower at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. The 150,000-square-foot, six-story tower will feature all private patient rooms, a modern Emergency Department with private treatment bays and a larger replacement Intensive Care Unit. Bond revenue will also assist with the purchase of AHC’s corporate headquarters and the re-financing of long-term debt acquired in 2014.
In its report, S&P affirmed Adventist HealthCare’s "ability to generate consistently positive operations, despite pressure stemming from the pandemic and operating pressures, through recent large-scale projects and expansion." In particular, the analysis noted AHC’s ability to increase cash flows and maintain operational excellence even while managing its $400 million investment in its newly constructed Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, which opened in late 2019 shortly before healthcare systems were challenged by COVID-19.
"We are grateful for team members and leaders across our system who have worked diligently to ensure that every decision contributes to Adventist HealthCare’s long-term financial viability," said James Lee, Adventist HealthCare Executive Vice President and CFO.
The rating agency also pointed out that Adventist HealthCare’s emphasis on updating facilities across its system has resulted in a lower average age of plant, a future performance indicator viewed positively by S&P. "Our deployment of strategic capital for upgraded and new facilities will allow us to continue to support our mission and vision and will strengthen future operating performance," said Maureen Dymond, Adventist HealthCare Vice President of Financial Operations.