Players in California's electricity market reported a mixed bag of earnings Thursday, with Sempra Energy posting a 13% drop in third-quarter profit while Calpine said net income doubled.
Struggling Capstone Turbine Corp. said revenue declined and its net loss widened. The Chatsworth-based microturbine manufacturer also said it had hired a chief operating officer who would implement a restructuring, which will involve layoffs.
San Diego-based Sempra Energy said net income fell to $96 million, or 46 cents a share, from $110 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier because earnings from energy trading in Europe and Asia declined and revenue from its California utilities dropped. Sempra is parent to Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Sempra said revenue fell 11% to $1.62 billion as power and gas prices in the state tumbled. Trading profit fell to $31 million last quarter, from $45 million a year ago, because of lower operating results from business outside North America. Profit from Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric rose to $100 million from $68 million. Last year's profit was reduced by $30 million set aside for power costs.
At San Jose-based Calpine Corp., profit doubled as the U.S. electricity producer boosted sales by adding power plants.
Net income rose to $320.8 million, or 88 cents a share, from $157.3 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier. Revenue almost quadrupled to $2.92 billion.
Capstone Turbine reported a net loss of $12.5 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $8.1 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue dropped nearly in half to $3.3 million as the economy slowed and California dodged a much-predicted summer of blackouts.
Among other power companies:
* Williams Cos. said profit surged 83% because of electricity sales to California and the acquisition of natural gas producer Barrett Resources Corp. Net income rose to $221.3 million, or 44 cents a share, from $121.1 million, or 27 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 21% to $2.81 billion. Energy trading profit more than doubled, helped by $180 million in past California power sales the company hadn't previously recognized.
* AES Corp., which generates electricity in the U.S. and 26 other countries, said net income fell 98% to $3 million, or 1 cent a share, from $164 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier, because businesses in Brazil and Britain made less than expected. Excluding onetime items, operating earnings fell 17% to $147 million, or 27 cents a share.
* Reliant Resources Inc., the energy trading arm of Reliant Energy, said profit fell 19% because it wrote down the value of its telecommunications unit, and trading margins for power and natural gas declined. Net income fell to $133.1 million, or 44 cents a share, from $163.1 million.