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Earnings Roundup / Sempra Energy

Utility owner's profit rises 10%

February 25, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Sempra Energy, owner of the largest U.S. natural-gas utility, said fourth-quarter profit rose 10% after fuel costs dropped and traders bet correctly on a record drop in oil prices.

Net income increased to $319 million, or $1.30 a share, from $289 million, or $1.10, a year earlier, San Diego-based Sempra said. Per-share profit was 38 cents higher than the average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue dropped 26% to $2.29 billion, Sempra said. Profit from the company's San Diego Gas & Electric unit jumped 72%, and earnings from wholesale power sales climbed 50% to $60 million on lower tax costs.

Sempra shares rose $2.23, or 5.7%, to $41.41.

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