- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2002

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) Yet another energy company, this time Allegheny Energy Inc., has found flaws in its books.
The struggling utility said yesterday it was delaying its third-quarter earnings.
Allegheny revealed little about the nature of the errors in its past financial statements. The company said its third-quarter results, expected early this month, will not be released until after the company and its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, finish a comprehensive review.
Allegheny's stock, which has fallen more than 85 percent in the past six months, closed up 17 cents at $5.78 a share in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
"Obviously, more uncertainty is not going to be viewed positively," said Paul T. Ridzon, an energy stock analyst with McDonald Investments.
Hagerstown-based Allegheny is reeling from the downturn in energy trading after the collapse of Enron Corp. The company borrowed heavily to enter the arena last year, buying Merrill Lynch & Co.'s energy-trading business for $490 million. Now it is fighting lawsuits, debt problems and declining profits.
Spokeswoman Debra Beck would not elaborate on the errors or the periods in which they occurred.


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