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

San Diego-based Sempra Energy on Thursday reported an 83% increase in earnings during 2020 thanks to a one-time gain from the sale of it’s South American businesses.

The utility holding company earned $3.76 billion, or $12.88 per share, compared to $2.06 billion, or $7.29 per share, in 2019. The 2020 results included $1.7 billion from the South American transactions.

On a continuing basis, Sempra earned $2.35 billion, or $8.03 per per share, a 23% increase from $1.91 billion, or $6.78 per share, in 2019.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company earned $414 million, or $1.43 per share, compared to $447 million, or $1.55 per share, in the same quarter of 2019.

“Our strong financial results in 2020 reflect the continued growth in our business and are a credit to our talented workforce and investments in a high-performing culture,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO.

The board of directors declared an increase in the annual divided to $4.40 per share, up from $4.18 per share in 2020.

Sempra’s stock closed Thursday at $119.08 per share on the New York Stock Exchange, down nearly 3%.

The company also announced it planned to spend $32 billion over the next five years to upgrade its networks in North America to reach a net-zero energy future.

“As the owner of one of the largest energy networks in North America, we have set a goal of being a leader in transitioning to a lower-carbon future by enabling the delivery of cleaner energy solutions in every market we serve,” said Martin. “We envision critical new investments in energy infrastructure playing a vital role in reaching a net-zero energy future, promoting growth across all sectors of the economy and supporting a thriving energy industry.”

Sempra’s subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric recorded annual earnings of $824 million compared to $767 million in 2019.

The company forecast per-share earnings of $7.50 to $8.10 in 2021.

Sempra has 19,000 employees and serves over 36 million consumers in California, Texas and Mexico.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

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