Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AA rating on approximately $ 143,420,000
of revenue bonds and revenue and improvement bonds issued by the Regents
of New Mexico State University.
The ‘AA’ rating is underpinned by stable operating
performance fueled by historically solid demand across the New Mexico
State University system, a fairly diverse revenue base, and a low debt
burden. Offsetting credit factors include light balance sheet resources
and a pressured state funding environment.
While the University has modestly improved its financial
cushion and maintained a nearly break-even operating margin, fiscal 2011
ended with a negative operating margin (1.1%) because of a $ 14 million
reclassification of expenses from non-operating to operating.
Most students are in-state residents and
NMSU is favorably positioned with tuition rates that remain affordable
despite recent increases.
Timely budgetary action regularly taken
by NMSU’s management team in response to changes in research funding and
volatile state appropriation funding provides additional rating