Sempra Energy Earnings: Streak of Four Straight Profit Increases Snapped

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) reported its results for the first quarter. Sempra Energy is an energy services holding company. With its subsidiaries, the company provides electric, natural gas and other energy-rated products and services worldwide. It also focuses on developing energy infrastructure and operating utilities.

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Sempra Energy Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the utility-gas distribution fell to $251 million (97 cents per share) vs. $260 million ($1.05 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 3.5% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 2.1% to $2.38 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Sempra Energy beat the mean analyst estimate of 96 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $2.33 billion.

Quoting Management: “Our solid first-quarter results put us on track to meet our 2012 earnings-per-share guidance range of $4 to $4.30,” said Debra L. Reed, chief executive officer of Sempra Energy. “We also made significant progress in developing a liquefied natural gas export facility at our Cameron LNG terminal.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit decreases breaks a four-quarter run of profit increases. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 3.9% from the year earlier, while the figure increased more than twofold in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, more than twofold in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and more than twofold in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue rose 11% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 21.7%in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 20.6% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

For three consecutive quarters, the company has topped analyst estimates. It beat the mark by 14 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and by one cent in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the second quarter has moved up from 76 cents a share to 80 cents over the last sixty days. At $4.15 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $4.46 ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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