Fitch affirms triple-B-plus rating, outlook ‘stable’

New York, N.Y. (Tuesday May 4, 2021)

Fitch Ratings of New York has affirmed its BBB+ rating of bonds issued on behalf of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, with a financial outlook of “stable.”

“We are very pleased with the continuation of our rating,” says Scott D. Habecker, Diakon president/CEO, “which provides external validation of our fiscal strength. We believe that Fitch continues to recognize how well Diakon develops plans and then successfully executes them.”

According to Fitch’s media release, the affirmation reflects Diakon’s independent living occupancy rates, which has averaged greater than 90% and was, in fact, at 91% during 2020, year of the COVID-19 pandemic. While occupancy levels in personal care and nursing care decreased as a result of the pandemic, FITCH expects skilled care occupancy to rise in 2021. The overall assessment is based on Diakon’s successful history of cost management.

Fitch assigned a BBB+ IDR rating to Diakon’s obligated group and assigned a BBB+ revenue rating to approximately $206 million of revenue bonds issued by the Cumberland County Municipal Authority and Washington County, Maryland, on behalf of Diakon. The rating is listed as “stable” in both cases.