) shares attained a 52-week high of $96.72 during intraday
trading on Monday, Mar 17, finally closing a trifle lower at
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SEMPRA ENERGY (SRE): Free Stock Analysis
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What's Driving Sempra?
Sempra Energy has been riding high on its Cameron Liquefaction
Project. A Sempra Energy unit, Sempra LNG, is the prime company
developing this project, which comprises three liquefaction
trains with a nameplate capacity of approximately 13.5 million
tons per annum of LNG.
The one-year high at Sempra has stemmed from a recent
announcement that CB&I and Chiyoda Corp. has been jointly
awarded a contract worth $6 billion to construct the Cameron
Liquefaction Project in Hackberry, LA. The award is yet another
significant step in the development of the Cameron LNG
The new and existing facilities will be wholly owned by Cameron
LNG Holdings, LLC. Sempra Energy has a major 50.2% indirect stake
in the Cameron Liquefaction Project. The balance will be shared
between GDF SUEZ S.A., Japan LNG Investment, LLC and Mitsui &
Co., Ltd., with each owning a 16.6% stake. Japan LNG Investment
is a JV that has been formed by the affiliates of Nippon Yusen
Kabushiki Kaisha and Mitsubishi Corporation. It is expected to
create 3,000 jobs at the peak of the construction period and
approximately 130 full-time jobs when fully operational.
Again, Sempra Energy recently posted better-than-expected
adjusted fourth quarter 2013 earnings. Quarterly results also
increased 4.6% year over year mainly due to higher contributions
from energy-related businesses.
Recently, Sempra Energy raised its first-quarter 2014 dividend
rate by 4.8% sequentially to 66 cents per share. The incremental
dividend will be paid on April 15, 2014, to stockholders of
record as of March 27. On an annualized basis, Sempra Energy's
dividend rate will come to $2.64 per share, up from the previous
payout of $2.52 per share. The annual dividend yield will be
2.7%, higher than the industry average.
San Diego, CA-based Sempra Energy is involved in the sale,
distribution, storage and transportation of electricity and
natural gas. Sempra's two regulated Californian utilities provide
services to more than 20 million natural gas and electricity
The company's diversified basket of businesses insulates its
operations to a significant degree from regulatory rate risks.
Also, geographic diversity in its assets exempts the company from
any region specific risk. Thus, Sempra Energy presents a lower
risk-profile relative to its peers.
Sempra Energy currently has a $23.56 billion market
capitalization and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some
better-ranked stocks in the same sector include
Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc.
Atmos Energy Corp.
Chesapeake Utilities Corp.
). While Delta Natural Gas carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Atmos Energy and Chesapeake Utilities carry a Zacks Rank #2