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Sempra Energy reports surge in Q2 results, LNG train delay

Sempra Energy reported a year-over-year rise in second-quarter adjusted earnings to $276 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared to $200 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, in the comparable quarter of 2016.

The results also beat the S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus estimate of 87 cents per share.

"Increased operating earnings in our utility and infrastructure businesses through the first half of the year allow us to raise our 2017 earnings guidance," said Debra Reed, chairman, president and CEO of Sempra Energy. "Strong operating results were coupled with positive regulatory outcomes, including the final regulatory decision in the Cost-of-Capital proceeding, which provides greater visibility to earnings at our California utilities over the next two years."

Sempra generated $2.53 billion in second-quarter 2017 revenues, up from $2.16 billion in the second quarter of 2016.

On a GAAP basis, the company booked $259 million, or $1.03 per share, in second-quarter earnings, a surge from $16 million, or 6 cents per share, in the corresponding quarter of 2016. These results were also impacted by the expansion of the company's Mexican business.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. contributed $149 million toward the result, up from $100 million. SDG&E recorded a $31 million after-tax refund to ratepayers of benefits from tax repairs deductions. Southern California Gas Co., which made a $49 million after-tax refund to ratepayers, recorded earnings of $58 million for the second quarter of 2017, compared to a loss of $1 million a year ago.

Sempra Mexico reported a second-quarter net loss of $9 million due to a $47 million impairment the company recorded on the Termoélectrica de Mexicali power plant, unfavorable foreign-currency and inflation effects. In second-quarter 2016, Sempra Mexico posted earnings of $57 million.

Sempra South American Utilities booked earnings of $45 million, compared to $43 million in the prior-year quarter. Sempra Renewables contributed $23 million in the second quarter, up from $12 million in second quarter 2016.

Sempra's LNG and Midstream unit booked second-quarter earnings of $27 million, compared with a net loss of $149 million in the second quarter of 2016. The business recorded a $28 million after-tax recovery in 2017.

Sempra raised its full-year 2017 adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $5 to $5.30.

The full-year S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus estimate was $5.11 per share.

Sempra also noted that on July 31, SoCalGas resumed limited injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility after winning regulatory approval from California regulators and California's division of oil, gas and geothermal resources. The regulatory agencies certified that SoCalGas had met the conditions of the state's safety review.

Additionally, the company announced that the Cameron LNG liquefaction-export project's first liquefaction train could be delayed into 2019, with two trains following throughout 2019 and with no earnings expected in 2018. The company expects earnings from the project of $300 million to $350 million in 2020.