Sempra Energy's headquarters in downtown San Diego. Photo courtesy of Sempra
Sempra Energy’s new headquarters in downtown San Diego. Photo courtesy of Sempra

San Diego-based Sempra Energy raised its 2015 earnings forecast by as much as 35 cents per share after reporting a 13 percent increase in profit for the first nine months of the year.

“Through three quarters, we are on track to exceed our 2015 financial and operational objectives, so we have raised our adjusted earnings guidance for the year,”  Sempra CEO and Chairwoman Debra Reed said.

Debra Reed

Sempra said its 2015 adjusted earnings per share would be in the range of $4.95 to $5.15 compared to an earlier forecast of $4.60 to $5.

On Wall Street early Tuesday the company’s stock was trading over $104 per share, up nearly 2 percent from Monday’s close.

The company reported third quarter profits of $248 million, or 99 cents per share, down from $348 million, or $1.39 per share, in 2014’s third quarter. Revenues were $2.48 billion versus $2.82 billion a year ago.

However, beginning this year Sempra is using seasonal accounting required by the California Public Utilities Commission that results in substantially all of its Southern California Gas unit’s earnings being reported in the first and fourth quarters.

“During the third quarter, our California utilities made good progress in their general rate cases and our other businesses continued with their construction activities on major projects, including the Cameron LNG liquefaction-export facility,” Reed said.

For the first nine months of 2015, Sempra Energy’s earnings were $980 million, or $3.91 per share, up 13 percent from $864 million, or $3.45 per  share, in the first nine months of 2014. Revenues were $7.53 billion compared to $8.29 billion in the same period last year.

The figures include $36 million from the sale of the second block of its Mesquite Power facility, $7 million in expenses related to liquefied natural gas and a $13 million benefit for San Diego Gas & Electric from a reduction in the loss related to the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Sempra, the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, has 17,000 employees and serves more than 32 million consumers worldwide.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.