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Electric utilities' bond ratings buoyed by financial progress
The rocky road for electric utilities Duquesne Light Co. and Pennsylvania Power Co. ended with completion of nuclear plants and some improvement in industrial sales, and the companies' bond ratings have drifted upward in the last few years to reflect that stability.
For neighboring utility West Penn Power Co., however, a reliance on coalfired plants -- once a stabilizing factor and now an environmental burden -- may cause investors to take a cautious look at the New Castle company's bonds.
But, in general, bond analysts say Western Pennsylvania electric utilities should show little change in financial stability during the next 12 months.
This follows a report released recently by Moody's Investors Service which offers a similar forecast for the electric utility industry overall.
However, Moody's suggests utilities …