Itron (ITRI) Turns The Corner, Smashes Estimates

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08:20:10 pm on February 17, 2010

After four straight quarters of sliding revenues and profits, it appears the smart grid sleeping giant Itron (ITRI) has been awakened and ready for years of extraordinary growth.  Ok, maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but she has clearly turned the corner with a very impressive quarterly earnings report after the bell today.  The company smashed conservative Wall St estimates of .60/share by posting a non GAAP EPS of .82 share on revenues of $477 million.  Sequentially, that’s nearly double the profit over last quarter and a 15% improvement over the year ago quarter.  It’s the first quarter of quarter over quarter growth in five quarters.  Say that 10x fast.

CEO Malcolm Unsworth commented on the impressive quarter and growing backlog, saying, “Last quarter, we stated that we thought third quarter financial results were the low point.  We did see a pick-up in business in North America in the fourth quarter and made great progress in shipping OpenWay meters and modules in support of our AMI contracts. We have now shipped more than one million OpenWay units. That, combined with our record twelve month backlog of $807 million, gives us great confidence going into 2010.”

Some highlights..

– 16% US growth vs only 6% international growth (mostly due to forex).  It appears the US is dropping the ball on wind and solar, but showing decent leadership in the smart grid space especially when you throw in the contributions from GE, Cisco and many smaller, emerging players.

– backlog increases to $1.5 billion vs $1.3 billion at end of 2008.  Record 12 month backlog of $807 million.

– don’t see a guidance number yet.. will update in the morning

Shares of ITRI are nearly 3% higher in after hours trading and continue to hold support of the 200 day moving average.

:: >>> Click Here For Your FREE Itron Analysis

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