Itron reports strong growth for Q3, year

THURSDAY, OCT. 30, 2008

Utility metering company Itron Inc. on Wednesday reported strong earnings and revenue growth for the third quarter and first nine months of the year, and reduced by pennies the top end of its outlook for the rest of 2008.

Orders nearly doubled for both periods, and the total backlog at Sept. 30 was $1 billion, up from $668 million a year earlier. A $470 million order from Southern California Edison accounted for much of the increase.

Revenues for the quarter were $484.8 million, compared with $435 million in 2007. For the year so far, revenues are $1.48 billion, up from $983.5 million last year. The nine-month comparisons are partially skewed because Itron did not acquire Actaris, its European subsidiary, until April 2007.

Itron North America, based in Spokane, had quarterly revenues of $160 million, up 12 percent. Actaris revenues were $325 million, up 11 percent.

Beneficial foreign exchange rates accounted for half the increase in Actaris results. Itron Vice President Deloris Duquette said the strengthening U.S. dollar will moderate Actaris’ numbers for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009.

Net income for the quarter was $7.7 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.4 million, or 11 cents per share, for the 2007 period.

For the first nine months of the year, net was $23.8 million, or 68 cents per share, compared with a loss of $20.1 million, or 69 cents, in 2007.

Itron’s stock was up nearly 7 percent, or $3.30 a share, on Wednesday, to finish at $50.83.


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