Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 1998

WESTERN RESOURCES EARNINGS RISE 47%

October 20, 1998

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The state's biggest energy company said Monday that third-quarter earnings jumped 47 percent.

Topeka-based Western Re-sources Inc., whose KPL division provides electric service in Lawrence, said earnings hit $1.10 per share in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from 75 cents a year ago after nonrecurring items.

Reported earnings were $7.77 in the year-ago period, but that included a gain on the sale of Western's stock in ADT, a transaction that came after a failed bid to take over the security company.

Western credited unseasonably warm weather and the continuing effects of a change in the company's natural gas interests for most of the improvement.

``Considered, tactical growth remains integral to our plan to be a leading consumer services company focused on energy and monitored security,'' said Kansas University graduate David C. Wittig, president and chief executive officer.

Western said contributions from Protection One, its monitored security business, continued to improve with a net income of $2.8 million in the third quarter. Western owns 85 percent of Protection One, the nation's second-largest monitored security company.

Earnings from Western's 45 percent ownership of ONEOK, the nation's eighth-largest natural gas company based in Tulsa, contributed 5 cents per share to the third-quarter earnings. A restructuring of how dividends from ONEOK are recognized turned a traditional third-quarter deficit in the segment into positive earnings.

Electric operations accounted for $1.08 of the third-quarter earnings, compared with 85 cents in the third quarter of 1997.

Western Resources, which also operates the KGE electricity unit, has assets in excess of $8 billion.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is rbrack@ljworld.com.

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