MDX debt downrated from Positive to Stable, but 'A-' maintained by Fitch
By Peter Samuel
Lower than expected net revenues at the Miami Dade Expressway Authority and reduced financial flexibility is cited by Fitch Rating as their rationale for a slight downrating in the south Florida toiler's outlook down from Positive to Stable. But the 'A-' rating for $1,067m of toll system bonds is maintained.
Fitch cites some difficulties in toll-by-plate as reducing debt service coverage ratios from an expected 1.41x to 1.3x this year and next.
"For the first nine months of FY 2012 (through March 31st) net toll and fee revenues are tracking approximately 1.7% lower than the same period in FY 2011 partially due to related toll integration and software issues. MDX currently estimates FY 2012 net toll revenues to decline to $119.2 million from $121.9 million, or 2.7%."
But they expect major revenue recovery in 2015 when the all-electronic toll conversion and addition of toll points in presently untolled segments bring full benefits to the toller's bottom line.
Positive factors continue to be the good physical condition in which the expressways are maintained and good provision for continuing rehab.
They encourage "timely toll increases" to strengthen debt service coverage ratios.