Wedbush Reiterates Outperform On Itron; Expects An Incrementally Positive Long-Term Outlook

In a research note released today, Wedbush reiterated coverage on Itron (ITRI) with an Outperform rating and a price target of $41.

Wedbush analyst Craig Irwin believes that business conditions have continued to improve for Itron throughout 2Q14 as utility maintenance budgets have likely benefited from a strong start to 2014 on harsh winter weather. 1Q14 Utility sector earnings were up 18.0% on 11.2% higher revenues, where this strong earnings performance makes sense as utilities were the primary beneficiaries of frigid winter weather. The midpoint of Itron’s initial 2014 revenue guidance assumed an (11%) continued deterioration in the company’s roughly $1.0-$1.5bn annual book and burn business, while the analyst expects the current environment has actually provided more stable demand, or possibly even a modest rebound.

“We believe it is reasonable to expect probable award of large size AMI projects in 2014, and visibility on these procurements and the expected positive EPS tailwind will likely be the most significant driver of stock appreciation”, the analyst wrote.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts and bloggers success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Craig Irwin, who covers ITRI, has a one-year average return of -3.1% and a 48% success rate.

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