Sempra Earnings Up (USA)

Sempra Energy reported 2013 earnings of $1 billion, compared with 2012 earnings of $859 million

Full-year 2013 results included $77 million for the 2012 retroactive benefit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) General Rate Case decision for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), offset by a $119 million charge related to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).  Sempra Energy’s 2012 results included $239 million of non-cash charges for the write-down of its investment in the Rockies Express Pipeline, offset by the receipt of a $25 million after-tax cash payment from Kinder Morgan related to the sale of its ownership in the pipeline.

Sempra Energy’s fourth-quarter earnings were $282 million in 2013, compared with $293 million in 2012.

Earnings for Guidance Comparison

For comparison with 2013 earnings-per-share guidance of $4.30 to $4.60, Sempra Energy’s full-year diluted earnings per share in 2013 were $4.49, which excluded the $119 million charge related to SONGS, but included the $77 million retroactive benefit for 2012 from the CPUC General Rate Case.

“In 2013, we laid the foundation for our future growth, while continuing to achieve our financial and operational objectives,” said Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy.  “We launched the first successful initial public offering for an energy company in Mexico.  We also advanced several key projects, including Cameron LNG, new Mexican pipelines, and hydropower and electric transmission in South America.  Additionally, our California utilities resolved their 2012 General Rate Case and continued to make significant investments in critical new infrastructure, technology and safety programs for their customers.  All of these activities support earnings growth and an increasing dividend.”

Last week, Sempra Energy’s board of directors approved a 5-percent increase in the company’s dividend to $2.64 per share from $2.52 per share, on an annualized basis.

On Feb. 11, Sempra Energy received a conditional permit from the U.S. Department of Energy to export natural gas to non-Free-Trade-Agreement countries from the company’s Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana.  Cameron LNG is one of only six U.S. projects to date to receive an export permit.  Among natural gas export projects currently under federal regulatory review, Cameron LNG is the first to have received a schedule for environmental review from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  The FERC schedule calls for issuance of a Final Environmental Impact Statement on or before April 30, the last major regulatory step before Cameron LNG receives a FERC order authorizing construction and operation of the project.  The company expects to break ground on the project later this year, with the first LNG being produced for export in 2018 and the first full year of commercial operations of all three liquefaction trains in 2019.

“Exporting natural gas will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs and bolster U.S. economic growth,” Reed said.

Press Release, February 27, 2014; Image: Sempra

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