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Moody’s Dings Insight’s Debt

10/22/2003 10:32 AM Eastern

Moody’s Investors Service Inc. lowered its ratings on Insight Communications Co. Inc.’s senior debt after the stock market closed Wednesday, citing its belief that the New York-based MSO will continue to have difficulty hitting its performance targets.

The move affects about $3.2 billion of Insight’s debt securities and bank-credit facilities.

In a press release, Moody’s said it lowered Insight’s senior implied-debt rating to "B1" from "Ba3" and dropped its rating on the MSO’s $360 million 12.25% senior unsecured discount notes from "Caa1" to "Caa2."

Separately, Moody’s also lowered Insight’s speculative-grade liquidity rating from "SGL-2" to "SGL-3," stating that the company has little room for error in keeping up with its leverage covenants.

Insight, which has systems in the Midwest, has struggled over the past few months, losing about 13,000 subscribers and reporting weaker-than-expected digital and high-speed-data customer growth in the second quarter. It’s scheduled to report third-quarter results Oct. 29.

Insight stock was priced at $9.65 per share (down 19 cents) in 4 p.m. trading Wednesday. The stock fell another 15 cents each to $9.50 in after-hours trading at 4:33 p.m., according to the NASDAQ Web site (www.nasdaq.com
).

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