Sempra shares rise on expectations of growth

May 28, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Sempra Energy rose Tuesday after a Barclays analyst boosted his rating for the stock, saying that its recent price drop makes it an attractive investment.

THE SPARK: Barclays analyst Daniel Ford raised his rating for the natural gas and electricity provider to "Overweight" from "Equal Weight."

THE BIG PICTURE: Sempra is the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. Over the past year, its shares have risen steadily, gaining about 24 percent. But in the past week the shares had dipped about 6 percent.

Part of the drop came after the company on Thursday lowered the high end of its 2013 guidance range and issued a lower-than-expected profit prediction for 2014.

THE ANALYSIS: Ford, who also boosted his price target by $5 to $90 said he's becoming more comfortable with the possibility that federal regulators will grant Sempra an export license for a gas liquefaction project. He believes the growth from that business justifies a long-term "Overweight" rating for the stock.

THE SHARES: Up $2.37, or 3 percent, to $81.97 in afternoon trading, after peaking at $83.47 earlier in the session. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $63.30 and $84.85.