It is the policy of The Empire District Electric Company ("Empire" or "the Company") (NYSE:EDE) not to confirm or deny market rumors. However, in response to recent media reports concerning the Company and last Friday's stock trading activity, Empire confirms that it is in the early stages of exploring strategic alternatives, and has retained a financial advisor with regard to the exploration of such strategic alternatives. No decision regarding the strategic alternatives has been made by the Board of Directors. Due to the preliminary nature of this exploration, neither the Company nor any of its representatives will be providing additional comment at this time. No assurances can be given that Empire's Board of Directors will act on any specific strategic alternative. The Company does not intend to make any further press release or announcement regarding these matters unless and until there is a material change in circumstances. The Company remains committed to continuing to provide safe and reliable service to its customers. Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) is an investor-owned, regulated utility providing electric, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Empire District Gas Company) and water service, with approximately 218,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. A subsidiary of the Company also provides fiber optic services. Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements address future plans, objectives, expectations, earnings, and events or conditions concerning various matters. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements, by reason of the factors noted in the Company's filings with the SEC, including the most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.