Sempra Energy Wins Approval For LNG Export Facility


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Sempra Energy ( SRE ), one of the largest natural gas transportation companies in the country, won approval last week for a liquefied natural gas ( LNG ) export facility along the Louisiana coast.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted unanimously for the Cameron LNG project, which is estimated to cost $9 billion to $10 billion. Some members of Congress were pushing hard for a quick approval so that natural gas could be shipped to Europe to help end Russia's energy dominance in the region.

On Thursday when the facility won approval, Sempra's stock jumped more than 1% on above-average volume.

Spectra plans to begin construction later this year and to begin liquefying natural gas in late 2017, becoming fully operational in 2018.

Exports to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the U.S. require federal approval.

San Diego-based Sempra will own 50.2% of the facility with French and Japanese interests owning the rest.

The company's two California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. serve more than 20 million customers. Its other businesses, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Sempra International, develop and operate energy infrastructure and provide gas and electricity in North and South America.

Sempra has been growing. After a quarter of decline, earnings the past two quarters rose 5% and 43% year over year. Analysts are forecasting a 12% increase in the current quarter.

A 10% EPS increase is forecast this year and an 8% increase in 2015.

Sempra pays a 66-cents-per-quarter dividend, which works out to a 2.5% annual yield.

That compares to a 30-cent dividend in 2006.

The stock has a three- to five-year dividend growth rate of 14%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas
More Headlines for: SRE , LNG

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