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Sempra Energy Income Climbs in 2005

Sempra Energy announced Feb. 22 that it had 2005 net income of $920 million, or $3.65 per diluted share.

Net income is up from $895 million, or $3.83 per diluted share, in 2004.

Sempra Energy’s fourth quarter of 2005 produced net income of $355 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, compared with $346 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, the previous year.

The record growth was reported despite increased litigation costs fueled by the energy crisis of 2000-01. During 2005, Sempra Energy incurred $311 million after-tax in litigation costs related to the energy crisis in the western United States. The same related costs in 2004 were $84 million.

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In the fourth quarter of 2005, the company took an after-tax charge of $116 million for litigation costs related to the energy crisis, compared with $72 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Sempra Energy revenues in 2005 increased to $11.7 billion from $9.4 billion in 2004, due primarily to higher natural gas costs and increased commodities marketing activity. Fourth-quarter revenues rose dramatically to $4 billion, compared with $2.9 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Sempra Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Donald Felsinger said the record net income in 2005 and a strong fourth quarter were driven by outstanding operating results in the commodities and power-generation businesses, in addition to its California utilities.

“We continue to execute our strategy, expanding our competitive businesses in liquefied natural gas and natural gas pipelines and storage, while building upon a solid foundation with our utilities, generation and commodities units,” he said.

Fourth-quarter net income for Sempra commodities rose to $244 million from $171 million the same quarter in 2004. Sempra attributes the growth to increased activity in natural gas, power and oil marketing in both Europe and North America.

“Sempra commodities has built an enviable track record of growth to become an industry leader, achieving 28 consecutive quarters of profitability,” Felsinger said.

Sempra’s utilities experienced comparable growth. Net income for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. rose to $262 million in 2005 from $208 million in the previous year. SDG & E;’s fourth-quarter 2005 net income was $72 million, up from $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Sempra’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 23 was $48.50 per share.

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