Moody’s Upgrades Rating Outlook at Port of Palm Beach
Moody’s ratings agency revised Palm Beach Port District’s (FL) rating outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the district’s Baa3 rating.
The positive outlook recognizes the port’s sustained financial improvement due to successful contract renewals with its largest customers that now extend through the maturity of the port’s outstanding debt.
Moody’s explained that the outlook reflects its expectation that margins will continue to be on par with those experienced over the last four fiscal years, supported by tenant minimum annual revenue guarantees that improve the port’s cash flow predictability.
The Baa3 rating reflects the port’s small size with concentrated operations and a majority of revenues derived from a few tenants and commodities.
Palm Beach Port District has exposure to the highly competitive market in southern Florida and the economically sensitive cruise industry.
These fundamental aspects of the port’s operating profile illustrate the need for strong liquidity and strategic capital investment to attract and maintain a diversity of tenants to balance an expectation of future volatility during weak economic cycles due to the small scale of operations.
The port has sustained its financial improvement and cash flow predictability due to successful contract renewals with its largest customers that include minimum annual revenue guarantees and now extend through the maturity of the outstanding debt.
“The positive outlook reflects our view that the port’s extension of its long-term contracts with its largest customers provide a higher level of revenue predictability that are forecast to support sound financial metrics, despite exposure to economically sensitive business partners and trade routes within a highly competitive market,” Moody’s concluded.