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UTILICORP INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS ACTIONS DISCLOSED EARLIER THIS YEAR; CHARGE AGAINST THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

UTILICORP INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS ACTIONS DISCLOSED EARLIER THIS YEAR;
 CHARGE AGAINST THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- UtiliCorp United (NYSE: UCU) today announced that it is taking a $6.1 million pretax charge ($3.9 million after taxes) against earnings in the third quarter as a result of investigations which confirmed items disclosed earlier this year.
 The investigations centered primarily around improper payments by former employees of Aquila Energy Resources in connection with the purchase of natural gas and oil properties located in Texas, Oklahoma and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
 The charge will reduce third quarter primary earnings per average common share by $.11. In September the company estimated earnings for the third quarter at $.21 per share and net income of $9.1 million, compared to $13.5 million restated in the 1991 period. The company projected revenues of $259 million compared to $194 million restated in the prior year's quarter.
 The third quarter charge is in addition to the $11.6 million pretax charge ($7.4 million after taxes) against earnings in the second quarter after investigations revealed that funds were apparently misappropriated during the course of certain transactions by Aquila Energy Resources Corporation to acquire oil and natural gas properties. Aquila Energy Resources is an indirect subsidiary of UtiliCorp.
 UtiliCorp Chairman and President Richard C. Green Jr., said: "No new situations have been found. Instead our external investigations have confirmed our announcement earlier this year that an additional charge could become necessary."
 Civil action to recover damages is continuing and findings of the investigation are being reported to the proper government authorities.
 The previously announced changes in procedures and organizational reporting implemented at Aquila Energy Resources' Houston office, where the problems occurred, and at Aquila Energy Corporation's headquarters office in Omaha are still in effect. John R. Baker, vice chairman of UtiliCorp, has been assigned to provide corporate management support to Aquila.
 Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp provides gas and electric service to nearly a million customers in eight states and the province of British Columbia. The company also is engaged in various non-regulated energy and utility-related enterprises.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Hermanson of Utilicorp, 816-691-3451/
 (UCU) CO: UtiliCorp United ST: Missouri IN: UTI SU:


GK -- NY069 -- 6648 10/29/92 14:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1992
Words:383
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