SDG&E batteries
An SDG&E employee walks in front of four of giant battery units in Escondido. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Sempra Energy Wednesday reported a “very strong” third quarter with net income of $274 million, or 99 cents per share, compared to $57 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

“The most recent quarter was very strong — credit goes to our employees,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, CEO of the San Diego-based company. “All of our businesses contributed to our third-quarter operating results. We are building momentum, successfully executing on several major initiatives to advance our strategic vision of becoming North America’s premier energy infrastructure company.”

Sempra reaffirmed its earnings-per-share guidance range of $2.83 to $3.44 for all of 2018.

The company’s stock was trading near $117 per share Wednesday on Wall Street, up more than 3 percent amid a general rise in stock prices after Tuesday’s midterm election.

Martin drew attention to Sempra’s investment in the Texas regulated-transmission market, with its Oncor unit acquiring InfraREIT for $1.275 billion, and a separate investment in Sharyland Utilities for approximately $98 million. Those transactions will be funded by the pending $1.12 billion sale of Sempra’s solar assets.

“Our agreement to sell our U.S. solar assets is important,” Martin said. “We expect to utilize our capital from our solar asset sales to significantly expand our regulated Texas utility platform through Oncor’s acquisition of InfraREIT and our acquisition of a 50-percent interest in Sharyland.”

For the first nine months as a whole, Sempra reported net income of $60 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $757 million, or $2.99 cents per share in the same period last year.

Among its major subsidiaries, San Diego Gas & Electric saw a third quarter net income of $205 million, compared with losses of $28 million in last year’s third quarter. For the first three quarters combined, net income was $521 million, compared with $276 million last year.

Net losses for Southern California Gas Co. was $14 million, compared with $7 million in last year’s third quarter. SoCalGas’ nine-month earnings were $244 million compared with $268 million in 2017.

Chris Jennewein

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