(ITRI) - Get Report

posted a strong first quarter and guided higher Tuesday.

The Spokane, Wash., maker of water meters earned $817,000, or 4 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, reversing the year-ago loss of $738,000, or 4 cents a share. But on a pro forma basis, excluding amortization of intangible assets and debt placement fees, restructurings and noncash stock compensation, latest-quarter earnings surged to 32 cents a share from a dime a share a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $116 million from $66 million a year earlier. The numbers raced past the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate, which called for a 21-cent pro forma profit on sales of $113 million.

"We are off to a great start in 2005," said CEO LeRoy Nosbaum. "AMR projects are moving forward at a number of utilities this year and we are very pleased with the flow of orders so far. The addition of electricity metering and our actions to streamline operations last year resulted in solid operating margins during the quarter."

The company also guided to a stronger 2005, saying it expects pro forma earnings of $1.50-$1.55 a share on revenue of $510 to $520 million. Previously the company expected to make a dime less on revenue of $505 million to $515 million.

Itron surged 10% late Tuesday, adding $3.32 to $35.