Stanford University, CA's $581 Million Bond Issuance Assigned 'AAA' Rating


SAN FRANCISCO (S&P Global Ratings) March 15, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned 
its 'AAA' long-term rating to Stanford University, Calif.'s (Stanford, or the 
university) $121.0 million series 2019 taxable bonds and the California 
Educational Facilities Authority's $460.0 million series V-1 tax-exempt bonds 
issued for Stanford. Also, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'AAA' long-term 
rating on the university's outstanding bonds. In addition, S&P Global Ratings 
affirmed its short-term rating on the university's taxable and tax-exempt 
commercial paper (CP) program at 'A-1+' and its rating on Stanford's 
variable-rate demand bonds at 'AAA/A-1+'. The outlook, where applicable, is 
stable. 

"The rating reflects our view of Stanford's extremely strong enterprise 
profile and very strong financial profile," said S&P Global Ratings credit 
analyst Mary Ellen Wriedt.

We assessed the university's enterprise profile as extremely strong, with an 
impressive market and demand position and fundraising track record. We 
assessed Stanford's financial profile as very strong, with exceptional 
operating performance and financial resources. Combined, we believe these 
criteria factors lead to an indicative stand-alone credit profile of 'aa+.' As 
our criteria indicate, the final rating can be within one notch of the 
indicative credit level. In our opinion, the 'AAA' rating on the university's 
bonds better reflects Stanford's significant cash and investments compared to 
debt outstanding.

The 'A-1+' short-term rating reflects our assessment of Stanford's 
self-liquidity.

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that, during the next two years, 
Stanford will likely continue to produce robust operating results, realize 
exceptional demand and fundraising, and maintain levels of financial resources 
that are consistent with the rating category.

Although unlikely, we could consider a negative rating action if available 
resource measures weaken with respect to the rating category, particularly 
because of significant additional debt or sustained operating losses.

At fiscal year-end 2018, the university had $3.6 billion of debt outstanding 
and following this issuance (including some refinancing) will have $3.8 
billion.
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