Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and other subsidiaries, reported Feb. 28 that its 2011 net income was $1.35 billion, or $5.66 per diluted share, compared with $739 million in net income, or $3.02 per diluted share, for 2010.

Excluding a gain of $277 million related to utility acquisitions it made in South America, Sempra said its adjusted earnings last year were $1.1 billion, up 14 percent from the 2010 adjusted earnings of $974 million.

For the fourth quarter, Sempra said net income was $292 million, compared with $280 million in the like quarter of 2010.

SDG&E reported earnings last year of $431 million, up from earnings of $369 million in 2010. In the fourth quarter, earnings were $158 million, up from $105 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

The company’s board of directors approved a 25 percent increase in the quarterly dividend to bring it to 60 cents, or $2.40 per share on an annualized basis.

Sempra CEO Debra Reed said the company exceeded its financial objectives for the year and restructured the organization by merging three subsidiaries into two units, Sempra International and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power.

Reflecting a change in accounting for the company’s tax credits it gets from solar generation, Sempra forecast 2012 earnings per share guidance in a range of $4 to $4.30.

Mike Allen