San Diego-based Sempra Energy reports lower first quarter earnings

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SDGE-Connected-LogoSan Diego-based Sempra Energy today reported first-quarter earnings of $178 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, compared with $236 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012.

This year’s first-quarter figures included a one-time charge for income tax expense of $63 million related to a reorganization in connection with the initial public offering of Sempra Energy’s Mexican subsidiary, Sempra officials said.

“While our reported earnings declined in the first quarter, the performance of our businesses remains solid and we completed several key strategic milestones, including the sale of half of our ownership in our Arizona gas-fired power plant and the successful public offerings at our Sempra Mexico unit,” said Debra L. Reed, the utility’s chairwoman and chief executive Officer. “During the quarter, we raised nearly $1 billion in external capital and attracted strong local ownership in our Mexican company, IEnova.”

San Diego Gas & Electric had first-quarter earnings of $91 million, down from $105 million last year. Southern California Gas Co’s. first-quarter earnings were $46 million, down from $66 million in 2012, Sempra reported.

Sempra South American Utilities and Sempra Mexicos also recorded lower earnings in the first quarter of 2013 than those earned during the same time period last year, as did Sempra Renewables, according to Sempra.

Earnings for Sempra Natural Gas were $53 million in the first quarter of this year, up from $1 million in the same period last year, mostly due to the sale of half of the Mesquite Power plant.

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