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UTILICORP ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEETING RESULTS, NW INTERNATIONAL VENTURES, FINANCIAL OUTLOOK, NEW AUDITORS

UTILICORP ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEETING RESULTS, NW INTERNATIONAL VENTURES,
 FINANCIAL OUTLOOK, NEW AUDITORS
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- UtiliCorp United (NYSE: UCU) today announced that its shareholders have reelected two directors, approved an increase in the number of shares of authorized common stock from 50 million shares to 100 million shares, and approved the issuance of 1,000,000 shares of common stock for the company's 1986 Employee Stock Purchase Plan.
 John R. Baker and Don R. Armacost have been reelected to three-year terms on the board of directors. Baker, a UtiliCorp director since 1971, has served as vice chairman of the board since May 1991, and was previously senior vice president, corporate developement. Armacost, a member of the board since 1983, is chairman of the board of Peterson Manufacturing Company in Grandview, Mo.
 Also at the 1992 annual meeting, shareholders approved an increase in the number of shares of authorized common stock from 50 million shares to 100 million shares by adopting an amendment to the certificate of incorporation of the company. The increase will allow for future financings, investment opportunities, acquisitions and stock splits.
 Shareholders also approved a proposal to issue an additional 1,000,000 shares of common stock for the company's Employee Stock Purchase Plan. The plan, implemented in 1986, gives employees the opportunity to increase their ownership stake in the company.
 In his remarks to shareholders, UtiliCorp Chairman and President Richard C. Green Jr. said the contribution to earnings by the WestPlains Energy division, an electric utility acquired in September 1991, is expected to boost UtiliCorp's financial performance during the summer season. Also, several pending rate cases at the company's regulated utilities are expected to take effect during 1992, which would contribute to revenues toward the end of the year.
 Recently, the Peoples Natural Gas division filed for rate increases in Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado and Iowa totaling $17.5 million in annual revenue. In addition, the West Virginia Power division has requested a $2.5 million electric rate increase and the Kansas Public Service division has requested a $1.3 million gas rate increase. The proposed increase will offset increased operating costs and investment in utility plant.
 "We are hopeful that combined with our ability to improve in the natural gas markets, these factors will help make up for the drop in first quarter earnings," Green said. "UtiliCorp has demonstrated the ability to rise to such challenges in the past, and we still expect 1992 to be a good year overall."
 Green noted that the September 1991 acquisition of the Texas-based Clajon natural gas gathering and processing system significantly boosted the overall 1991 earnings contribution of the Aquila Energy subsidiary. Contributions from Aquila-Clajon enabled Aquila to partially offset the negative impact of record low natural gas prices during the just-completed winter heating season, he added.
 UtiliCorp continues to pursue international utility and energy investments and ventures. "The company has the financial strength to invest up to $400 million in acquisitions and joint ventures at the present time. Of this total, up to $200 million is targeted for such opportunities in Europe," Green stated.
 Green added that UtiliCorp has entered its fifth joint venture to market natural gas to large volume customers in the United Kingdom. The company owns a 25 percent interest in a newly formed gas marketing affiliate of an electric utility in the northwestern part of England. Initial gas deliveries are planned for mid-1992.
 UtiliCorp, in a joint venture with Endesa, a Spanish utility, and NRG Energy, Inc., of Minneapolis, has bid to build and operate four 300-megawatt coal-fired energy plants in Portugal at a total cost of $1.6 billion. The outcome of the bidding process is expected sometime next month.
 UtiliCorp's 1992 capital budget is $169 million, of which $109 million is provided for electric operations, including the cost for coal conversion and the final phase of rebuilding at the Missouri Public Service division's Sibley power plant. The budget provides $60 million for gas operations, including pipe replacement, system extensions and additional gas storage capacity. In 1991, utility expenditures totaled $134 million, including $66 million for electric and $68 million for gas.
 Green also announced that the company has named Arthur Andersen & Co. as its new independent auditor. "After 12 years of utilizing the service of Price Waterhouse, we decided to thoroughly review this important function in light of our expanded operations, both domestic and international," he concluded.
 Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp provides gas and electric service to nearly one million customers in eight states and the province of British Columbia. The company is also engaged in various non-regulated utility and energy related enterprises.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Hermanson of Utilicorp, 816-421-6600/
 (UCU) CO: UtiliCorp United ST: Missouri IN: UTI SU:


GK -- NY061 -- 7144 05/06/92 13:27 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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