February 21, 2008 in Business

Business in brief: Itron foresees upbeat 2008

The Spokesman-Review
 

Itron Inc. on Wednesday reported lower income for 2007, but issued an upbeat forecast for 2008.

The results and forecast lifted the price of Itron shares to $80.76 in after-hours trading, a gain of almost 7 percent from the market close.

The Liberty Lake maker of automated meter-reading equipment registered a $16.1 million loss, or 55 cents per share, for the year, and a $4 million gain, or 12 cents per share, for the fourth quarter.

In 2006, Itron earned $33.8 million, or $1.28 per share, for the year, and $7.3 million, or 28 cents per share, for the quarter.

Revenues for the fourth quarter tripled, to $480 million, and for the year more than doubled, to $1.5 billion, the result of the April 2007 acquisition of Actaris, a larger European company also in the metering business.

The company projects 2008 revenues of as much as $1.9 billion.

Bert Caldwell

New York

Gold prices soar to record level

Gold surged to a record in aftermarket trading Wednesday after oil rallied above $100 a barrel and investors bet the Federal Reserve will again slash interest rates – boosting the metal’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Other precious metals traded mixed, with silver also touching a record high and platinum retreating from historic levels.

Gold for April delivery jumped as high as $949.20 an ounce. Silver joined gold’s rally, shooting 33.2 cents higher late Wednesday to reach $17.84 an ounce for March delivery. Platinum for April delivery retreated from record territory on profit-taking, losing $14.30 to settle at $2,138.80 an ounce.

Associated Press

Spokane

File 1040A for stimulus payment

Thousands of low-income seniors throughout the Inland Northwest will fill out income tax forms for the first time in years to secure economic stimulus payments. That also goes for recipients of Social Security disability payments and of veterans’ disability payments, which are not taxed. Stimulus payments start at $300 for an individual.

The IRS created special instructions for filling out the 1040A form. They include:

“Fill in the top of the form, including name, address and Social Security number.

“Fill out Box 14a, which reflects Social Security income received in 2007. (Box 5 on Social Security Administration form 1099.)

“To have the money deposited directly to a bank account, fill out 44b, c, and d.

“Sign and date the form.

“Write “Stimulus Payment” on the top of the form.

The Treasury Department will begin sending out the payments in May and continue through the summer.

Need a 1040A form? Call The Spokesman-Review at (509) 459-5400 and we’ll send you one, along with a list of free tax-preparation sites in Spokane and North Idaho. You can also stop by our lobby at 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane.

- Staff reports

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