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Sempra Energy (SRE) Lags Q1 Earnings, Trims 2016 View

Sempra Energy’s SRE first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.47, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.63 by 9.8%. Earnings also plunged 41% from $1.71 per share reported in the prior-year quarter.

Considering SONGS-related items, REX-related after-tax loss and LNG liquefaction development expenses, GAAP earnings were $1.27 per share in the quarter, compared with $1.74 a year ago.

Total Revenues

In the quarter under review, total revenue was $2,622 million, down 2.2% year over year due to lower contributions from the energy-related businesses (30.8%), partly offset by higher revenues from utilities (0.8%).

Quarterly Segment Update

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E): Quarterly adjusted earnings were $129 million, compared with the year-ago figure of $147 million, reflecting a $13 million after-tax reduction in the loss related to the SONGS closure in the first quarter of 2015.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas): The segment registered earnings of $195 million, down from $214 million in the first quarter of 2015. The downward movement was mainly due to higher non-refundable operating costs, including depreciation and litigation.

Sempra South American Utilities: The segment recorded earnings of $38 million in the first quarter, down from $41 million in the prior-year period, primarily due to the impact of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

Sempra Mexico: The segment recorded earnings of $17 million, down from $47 million in the prior-year period.

Sempra Renewables: The segment recorded quarterly earnings of $13 million, on par with the year-ago level.

Sempra Natural Gas: The segment reported a loss of $36 million. In the year-ago period, it had posted earnings of $2 million backed by lower natural gas prices.

Parent & Other: The segment reported a loss of $37 million in the first quarter, wider than the year-ago loss of $27 million.

Financial Update

As of Mar 31, 2016, Sempra Energy’s cash and cash equivalents were $376 million, compared with $403 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Long-term debt was $12,975 million as of Mar 31, 2016, compared with $13,134 million at 2015 end.

Cash flow from operating activities was $592 million in the first quarter, down from $811 million in the year-ago period.

In the first quarter, the company’s capital expenditures and investments were $1,001 million, compared with $814 million in the prior-year period.

Guidance

Sempra Energy provided 2016 adjusted earnings guidance in the range of $4.60 to $5.00 per share, down from the prior guidance of $4.80−$5.20.

Upcoming Peer Releases

South Jersey Industries, Inc. SJI is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 13.

Just Energy Group Inc. JE is expected to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 12.

Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. PNY is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on Jun 3.

Zacks Rank

Sempra Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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