Drawing on robust results in its energy trading and utility businesses, San Diego-based Sempra Energy Wednesday reported record net income for all of 2005 totaling $920 million, or $3.65/diluted share, compared with $895 million, or $3.83/diluted share in 2004. For the fourth quarter last year, net income was $255 million, or $1.38/diluted share, compared with $346 million, or $1.46/diluted share, for the same period of the previous year.

Despite the record overall results, Sempra said the fourth quarter results last year were adversely affected by a $116 million after-tax charge for energy crisis-related litigation, primarily its class action lawsuit settlement announced last month. Before the charge, net income was $436 million, a 36% increase over the same period the previous year.

As a result of its ’05 results, Sempra increased its earnings outlook for 2006 to a range of $3.40-3.60/share, from the previous range of $3.20-3.40/share.

“We continue to execute our strategy, expanding our competitive businesses in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas pipelines and storage, while building upon a solid foundation with our utilities, generation and commodities units,” said Sempra CEO Donald Felsinger, who was bullish in particular about the company’s energy trading, noting that continued global market volatility adds to the value of the commodities business.

Breaking down its major business units, Sempra Commodities recorded 2005 net income of $460 million, a 44% increase over 2004’s $320 million in net profits; the utilities collectively earned $473 million ($262 million for San Diego Gas and Electric Co. and $211 million for Southern California Gas Co.), compared with $440 million collectively last year; and Sempra Generation recorded net income for 2005 of $164 million, compared with $137 million the previous year.

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