SAN DIEGO, May 5, 2009 – Boosted by improved results in nearly all of its operations, Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) today reported first-quarter 2009 earnings of $316 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, an increase of 40 percent per share over first-quarter 2008 earnings of $242 million, or $0.92 per diluted share.
“We had an outstanding first quarter – a solid step toward meeting our 2009 financial objectives,” said Donald E. Felsinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy. “In a tough economy, our businesses are continuing to grow and build long-term value for our shareholders.”
SUBSIDIARY OPERATING RESULTS
San Diego Gas & Electric
First-quarter earnings for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) rose to $99 million in 2009 from $74 million in 2008. Earnings were higher primarily due to the favorable impact of SDG&E’s rate case, which was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission and went into effect in the third quarter 2008. This improvement was partially offset by a favorable resolution in 2008 of prior-year’s income-tax issues.
In March, SDG&E expanded the roll-out of smart meters for its 1.4 million customers. The new digital meters will allow two-way communications between SDG&E and its customers, increasing operational efficiency and giving customers more information with which to manage their energy usage. All of the new meters are expected to be installed by the end of 2011.
Southern California Gas Co.
Earnings for Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) in the first quarter 2009 were $59 million, compared with $57 million in the prior-year’s quarter.
RBS Sempra Commodities
First-quarter earnings from Sempra Energy’s commodity operations nearly doubled in 2009 to $114 million. During the most recent quarter, the RBS Sempra Commodities joint venture benefited from improved results in natural gas and oil marketing. First-quarter 2008 results of $59 million represented 100 percent of the earnings of Sempra Energy’s commodities-marketing business prior to the formation of the joint venture and reflected a $17 million write-down related to a credit issue with a counterparty.
Sempra Generation’s earnings were $43 million in the first quarter 2009, compared with $45 million in last year’s first quarter.
On April 15, Sempra Generation announced its intention to construct a new 48-megawatt (MW) expansion of its existing 10-MW photovoltaic power-generation facility near Las Vegas. The combined 58-MW installation would become the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in North America. Construction will commence after Sempra Generation contracts with customers for the facility’s power output.
Sempra Pipelines & Storage
First-quarter earnings for Sempra Pipelines & Storage rose 42 percent to $37 million in 2009 from $26 million in 2008, due primarily to increased contributions from its Mexico pipeline operations and Mobile Gas, offset by the negative effect of foreign currency exchange rates. Mobile Gas typically reports its highest earnings in the first quarter, when heating demand is stronger due to colder weather.
Sempra LNG recorded a loss of $7 million in the first quarter 2009, compared with a loss of $9 million in last year’s first quarter.
Sempra Energy will broadcast a live discussion of its earnings results over the Internet today at 1 p.m. EDT with senior management of the company. Access is available by logging onto the Web site at www.sempra.com. For those unable to log onto the live webcast, the teleconference will be available on replay a few hours after its conclusion by dialing (888) 203-1112 and entering passcode 8962347.
Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2008 revenues of nearly $11 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,600 employees serve about 29 million consumers worldwide.
Complete financial tables, including earnings information by business unit, are available on Sempra Energy’s Web site at http://www.sempra.com/downloads/1Q2009.pdf.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “may,” “would,” ”could,” “should,” or similar expressions, or discussions of strategies, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative and regulatory conditions and developments; actions by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, California Department of Water Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Reserve Board, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries; capital market conditions and inflation, interest and exchange rates; energy and trading markets, including the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas; weather conditions and conservation efforts; war and terrorist attacks; business, regulatory, environmental and legal decisions and requirements; the status of deregulation of retail natural gas and electricity delivery; the timing and success of business development efforts; the resolution of litigation; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the company. These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the IDEA system without charge at the SEC’s Web site, www.sec.gov and on the company’s Web site, at www.sempra.com.
Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Commodities are not the same companies as the utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Commodities are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.