LA Department of Water and Power Expands Itron Contract - Analyst Blog

Itron, Inc. ( ITRI ) has recived an electric metering contract from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). LADWP will employ Itron's cellular solution to supply advanced time-of-use and net time-of-use residential, commercial and industrial electric metering to its customers.

LADWP, the largest municipal utility in the U.S., will use Itron's cellular solution to support its Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program. Through the FiT program, LADWP purchases energy ranging from 30 kilowatts to 3 megawatts within its service territory.

Itron's metering solution will help LADWP improve customer service, expand green energy initiatives and meet increasing demand from solar net metered residential, commercial and industrial customers in the City of Los Angeles.

The metering solution will facilitate LADWP customers, participating in time-of-use rates, to help forecast and balance load. The data from these advanced meters will also be used for energy conservation, engineering analysis and load forecasting to increase operational efficiency.

LADWP can easily deploy smart metering technology to select customers across diverse territories using an available public network. It will also be used for LADWP's customers located in areas with high outage sensitivity and critical need for real-time power quality monitoring and communication.

The solution, including approximately 40,000 additional cellular advanced meters and data collection software, will be installed in a period of over three years.

Itron's first-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings remained flat year over year at 31 cents per share. Total revenue increased 6% year over year to $475 million. Both earnings and sales surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the quarter.

Itron recorded bookings of $745 million in the quarter with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.6x. Total backlog increased 30% year over year and came in at $1.3 billion.

Itron expects acquisition of new business to generate over $80 million of the incremental revenues by the end of 2016, with the growth beginning to materialize in 2015. Increased revenues will drive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 300 bps to 400 bps.

The company is also targeting to increase the levels of outsourced printed circuit board assembly, which will help to reduce costs by $10 million annually. Itron's continuous investment to boost the long-term growth potential of all three businesses is also expected to be accretive going forward.

Liberty Lake, WA-based Itron Inc., along with its subsidiaries, is one of the principal technology providers to energy and water industries worldwide. It produces electricity, gas, water and heat meters, data collection and utility software solutions as well as various other associated metering products. The company provides its services to residential, commercial and industrial customers, along with transmission and distribution customers.

Itron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the electrical test equipment sector include Ametek Inc. ( AME ), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ( AMD ) and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. ( ASX ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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