Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., said Dec. 19 that it expects to meet or beat the higher end of its 2011 earnings per share guidance of $4 to $4.30, which excludes a $1.14 per share gain from the company’s South American utilities acquisitions.

Taken on a stricter view, called generally accepted accounting principles, Sempra’s earlier guidance was earnings per share ranging from $5.14 to $5.44, which the company said it also expects to meet or exceed.

CEO Debra Reed said, “All of our businesses have met or exceeded their financial objective for the year.”

Sempra said it will report its fourth-quarter and 2011 annual results Feb. 28.

Reacting to the positive news, the market pushed up shares, traded under SRE on the New York Stock Exchange, by $1.53 to $53.11 on Dec. 20. The 52-week range is $44.78 to $55.97.

— Mike Allen