Neal E. Schmale, Executive VP and CFO, Sempra Energy
Richard Stavros is Fortnightly's Executive Editor.
How would you say your company differentiates itself from other utilities?
Neal E. Schmale: The interesting thing about Sempra compared to many [other] companies is that we are 50 percent utility and 50 percent other [businesses]. If you look at the $895 million in earnings we had last year, almost exactly half of that was from San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCalGas combined. The other half was from businesses that were developed since the merger in 1998. At the time of the merger, we didn't have any of these other businesses that contribute half of the earnings. Certainly, they were in their infant stages. But now the generation business and the trading business, the pipeline and storage business that we have, coupled with the LNG business, which is being developed-these things are roughly equal in size to the utility side. This is pretty unique. The biggest earner on the unregulated side is the energy trading company known as Sempra Commodities. … There are really four great big businesses, two of which are utilities and two of which that are not.
How has Sempra been able to remain in the energy trading while others have not?