Itron (ITRI) Surges After Smashing Estimates, Acquires SmartSynch

Itron (ITRI) continues its torrid run off the bottom after reporting earnings results that smashed analyst estimates.  The company reported a non GAAP EPS of $1.19/share on revenues of $642 million vs the analyst estimates for .87 EPS on revenues of $547 million.   That’s a sequential revenue increase of 4% sequentially and 8% quarter over quarter.

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“Our fourth quarter results produced record revenue and cash flow but our profitability was impacted by restructuring charges, the finalization of the goodwill impairment and a warranty charge,” said LeRoy Nosbaum, Itron’s president and chief executive officer. “Our core operating results across electric, gas and water continue to be strong and we are focused on building a platform and infrastructure to support long-term growth and improved profitability.”

The company offers the following guidance for the full year.  It expects revenues in the range of $2.1 – $2.3 billion (analysts predict $2.26 billion) and EPS between $3.80 – $4.20 (analysts expect $3.87).

Itron also announced an agreement to acquire privately held SmartSynch for $100 million which they believe will add approximately $50 million in revenues and be dilutive to non-GAAP net earnings per share by less than $0.10 for fiscal year 2012. The acquisition is anticipated to be accretive to revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2013.  SmartSynch is a leading provider of point-to-point smart grid solutions that utilize a cellular network for communications.  The company has more than 130 customers, including nine of the top ten utilities in North America.

Technically, shares of ITRI are looking much better than last year when the stock was trying to put in a bottom.  With the stock up about 75% off that bottom, it’s best to wait for a pull back or sideways consolidation  off today’s gap up.

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