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

Shares of Sempra Energy rose over 1 percent Tuesday morning after the San Diego-based utility company reported significantly higher earnings in 2018.

The company, which is the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, reported a profit of $924 million, or $3.42 per share, compared to $256 million, or $1.01 per share, in 2017.

The strong results exceeded analysts’ estimates and boosted Sempra stock, which was trading over $119, up more near 1.5 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Our strong 2018 operational and financial results confirm that we’re on track to fulfill our mission to become North America’s premier energy infrastructure company,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO.

“Over the past year, we made significant strides in all aspects of our business,” he added. “We expanded our Texas regulated utility platform with the acquisition of our majority interest in Oncor. Also, we delivered outstanding safety, reliability and customer service at our California utilities.”

For the fourth quarter of 2018, Sempra reported earnings of $864 million, or $3.03 per share, compared with a loss of $501 million, or $1.99 per share, in 2017.

Over the past year, the company has negotiated the sale of its renewable energy business, as well as operations in South America, while investing in terminals and infrastructure for exporting liquefied natural gas.

Last month, Sempra was added to the Dow Jones Utility Average, a 15-stock, price-weighted index measuring the performance of some of the largest U.S. energy companies.

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