Thursday, March 17, 2005


Will Selling Off Assets Threaten Shaw's Credit Rating?

As reported in the Feb. 10, 2004, issue of the Troubled Company
Reporter, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB'
corporate credit rating and its other ratings on The Shaw Group
Inc. At the same time, Standard & Poor's revised the outlook on
the company to negative from stable.

"The outlook revision reflects the fact that profitability and
cash flow generation for fiscal 2004 ending August will be weaker
than previously anticipated, because of continuing challenges on a
few problem projects, reduced expectations of asset divestitures,
and weakness in the higher margin pipe manufacturing operation,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Heather Henyon.

As a result, it is unlikely that Shaw will be able to meet
Standard & Poor's expectations of total debt to EBITDA of 2.5-3x
and EBITDA to interest coverage in the 3x area in 2004. However, a
growing backlog of more steady environmental and infrastructure
projects may enable the company to achieve an acceptable credit
profile in the intermediate term.
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