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UTILICORP PROJECTS HIGHER SECOND QUARTER RESULTS; AQUILA REBOUNDS, RATE INCREASES APPROVED

 SAN FRANCISCO, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- UtiliCorp United (NYSE: UCU) announced today that second quarter results are expected to be significantly greater than those of last year. The improvement was due primarily to a rebound at the company's Aquila Energy subsidiary, cooler temperatures in early spring and rate relief at several of the company's utility divisions.
 For the second quarter ended June 30, 1993, UtiliCorp projects revenues of $334 million, compared to $254 million in last year's second quarter. Second quarter income from operations are expected to be $33.6 million up from $14.7 million in the prior year's quarter. Primary earnings per common share are estimated to be at $.12, compared to a loss of $.23 in last year's quarter. Net income is expected to be $6.9 million compared to a loss of $6.2 million in the second quarter of 1992.
 In last year's second quarter, UtiliCorp United took a one-time $11.6 million pretax charge ($7.4 million after taxes) against 1992 second quarter earnings as a result of apparent misappropriated funds 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.
 For the first six months of this year, UtiliCorp expects primary earnings per common share of $.96 on net income of $41.7 million, versus earnings per share of $.54 on net income of $22.4 million in the first six months of 1992. Revenues for the first six months of this year are expected to be $814 million, compared with revenues of $620 million in last year's period. 1992 figures are restated for full cost accounting change.
 Average common shares outstanding in the second quarter increased to 41.1 million from 34.9 million in last year's quarter. The increase was due primarily to a public offering of 4.8 million common shares in February 1993.
 Speaking before members of the San Francisco financial community UtiliCorp Chairman and President Richard C. Green Jr. said, "The second quarter numbers are totally different from last year's second quarter. Our regulated utilities contributed due to the cooler spring weather, customer growth and several rate relief decisions from last year helped our performance. We continue to successfully work through the challenges at our Aquila subsidiary. Aquila Energy revised its marketing strategy, has new leadership in place and improved internal controls, all of which is reflective of a new strategic direction."
 "We are particularly encouraged about our expected earnings as compared to our record year of 1991, given we have 45 percent more shares outstanding." Green added UtiliCorp's Missouri Public Service division was granted a 2.2 percent, $4.9 million electric rate increase last week. The increase will take effect June 29. Missouri Public Service originally requested an 8.5 percent rate increase, but was reduced because of lower-than anticipated costs for work necessary to comply with federal clean air regulations through the year 2001 and reduced contract costs for coal to generate electricity. These savings were realized after the rate increase was filed.
 A significant element of the new rate plan is a restructuring to help reduce summer "peak" or highest demand for electricity and to increase off-peak heating market share. Reducing peak demand will delay or eliminate the need to build expensive new power plants to generate electricity.
 Additionally, the British Columbia Utilities Commission approved 1992 and 1993 electric rate increases totaling $5.5 million for UtiliCorp's Canadian division, West Kootenay Power.
 Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp provides gas and electric utility service to more than a million customers in eight states and the province of British Columbia. The company is also engaged in various non-regulated energy and utility related enterprises.
 -0- 6/22/93
 /CONTACT: Phil Hermanson of UtiliCorp, 816-691-3541/
 (UCU)


CO: UtiliCorp United ST: IN: UTI SU: ERP

MP -- NY054 -- 4580 06/22/93 12:40 EDT
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Date:Jun 22, 1993
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