Sempra Energy headquarters.
Sempra Energy headquarters in downtown San Diego. Courtesy of the company

San Diego-based Sempra Energy reported a decline in third-quarter net income but forecast strong growth for the remainder of this year and into 2021.

The energy infrastructure company earned $351 million, or $1.21 per share, in the quarter, compared to $813 million, or $2.84 per share, in the same period last year.

The previous year’s results included one-time income of $191 million from the sale of Sempra’s South American businesses and $196 million in California rate adjustments.

For the first nine months of 2020, Sempra earned $3.35 billion, or $11.43 per share, compared with earnings of $1.61 billion, or $5.74 per share, in the first nine months of 2019.

The company predicted full-year earnings will come in at “the high end” of earlier forecasts at $12.50 to $13.10 per share and would be higher in 2021.

“We are excited to advance our leadership position in the most attractive markets in North America — California, Texas, Mexico and the LNG export market — with an unrelenting commitment to safety and operational excellence. Our investments in critical new energy infrastructure support economic prosperity, community wellbeing and the energy transition,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO.

“Our strategy of investing in a high-growth infrastructure platform supports long-term, stable cash flows, attractive economic returns and improved earnings visibility,” he added.

Among Sempra’s major subsidiaries, San Diego Gas & Electric saw a third-quarter net income of $178 million, compared with a net income of $263 million in last year’s third quarter. For the first three quarters combined, net income was $633 million, compared with $582 million last year.

Sempra has the largest U.S. customer base of any utility holding company, serving 35 million in California, Texas and Mexico.

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