Moody’s Investors Service Affirms UNCW Bonds, Outlook Stable

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s bonds and has given the university a stable outlook, according to a report released Jan. 30.

UNCW’s strong financial profile, a track record of state support and favorable student demand were factors in the university maintaining its Aa3 revenue bond rating, the report states. The rating affects $52 million of the university’s revenue bonds.

“The rating from Moody's Investor Services reflects UNCW's financial strength, efficient operations and strategic commitment to growth," Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said. "The rating is an important component of the university's trajectory of success and positions UNCW to continue expanding programs, services and infrastructure to benefit our students and the community."

Moody’s analysts expect the state’s support, combined with favorable student demand, to translate into continued revenue growth above 3 percent, the report states. Revenue growth and strong fiscal oversight will continue to provide for favorable operations. Moody’s also affirmed the university’s A1 rating affecting $113 million of the limited obligation bonds.

The stable outlook reflects expectations of ongoing revenue growth above 3 percent per year and cash flow margins comparable to historical levels in the 12 to 14 percent range, the report states. It also reflects financial reserve growth in-line with similarly rated peer institutions and a gradual reduction of debt beginning in fiscal 2020. Maximizing opportunities for fiscal sustainability and institutional efficiencies are key components of the university’s Strategic Plan.

The full press release can be found here.

--Venita Jenkins