Sempra 3Q net income falls on charges

Sempra posts 7 pct drop in 3rd-qtr net income on charges related to stake in pipeline

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Sempra Energy saw a 7 percent decline in third-quarter net income as it took a hit on the current value of a pipeline.

The company's natural gas business posted a loss of $68 million, largely as a result of the $60 million charge related to the Rockies Express Pipeline. Kinder Morgan is in the process of selling its 50 percent stake in the pipeline, which led to the release of information about the pipeline's current fair value.

Sempra , which operates San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co., earned $268 million, or $1.09 per share, down from $289 million, or $1.20 per share, in the same quarter last year.

A subsidiary of the company has a 25 percent stake in the Rockies Express, but excluding the charge tied to that valuation, Sempra had adjusted net income of $328 million, or $1.33 per share, for the recent quarter.

That easily beat Wall Street expectations of $1 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $2.51 billion from $2.58 billion.

Profits at San Diego Gas & Electric rose 54 percent to $174 million, helped by lower taxes and higher transmission profits, while earnings at Southern California Gas fell 12 percent to $71 million.

Sempra backed its previous 2012 profit guidance of $4 to $4.30 per share, excluding charges related to the pipeline and a second-quarter tax benefit. Analysts expect earnings of $4.17 per share for the year.

Sempra shares rose 91 cents to $69.15 in morning trading.

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