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Sempra, PG&E post lower profit

February 23, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Sempra Energy, owner of Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., on Thursday said fourth-quarter profit dropped 65% after it sold investments in Argentina that had declined in value.

San Diego-based Sempra raised its 2007 profit forecast to a range of $3.75 to $3.95 a share from a previous forecast of $3.50 to $3.70.

In the fourth quarter, net income fell to $125 million, or 47 cents a share, from $355 million, or $1.38, Sempra said. Revenue fell 17% to $3.25 billion from $3.93 billion.

Excluding the effect of the Argentina investments and other sales, Sempra earned $1.33 a share. It was expected to earn $1.27 a share, based on the average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sempra shares rose 9 cents to $60.45.

Also Thursday, PG&E Corp., owner of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., said fourth-quarter profit fell 16% on costs related to job cuts and restructuring. Net income fell to $152 million, or 43 cents a share, from $180 million, or 49 cents, a year earlier, the San Francisco-based company said. Sales fell about 14% to $3.2 billion from $3.7 billion.

PG&E also said its earnings from operations excluding the severance costs were 48 cents a share, compared with 49 cents a year earlier. The company was expected to earn 45 cents.

PG&E shares fell 13 cents to $47.78.

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