This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 29 at 12:59 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.As I was looking through my watch list, I could not help but notice that Itron ( ITRI) looks like it's setting up for another run. This is a stock that first broke out in March 2005 through $24, trading straight up to about $54. Then, as luck would have it, Itron did exactly what I hoped it would: It took a rest, by correcting and bottoming to around $38, followed by sideways-to-up trading back to the upper $40s over the course of seven months. When stocks have big moves, as Itron did, they need to take a rest in order for the gains to be digested. This period of consolidation is necessary if further moves are to be sustainable. On Feb. 14, Itron gave the market something it obviously liked, judging by the stock's reaction. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings on an adjusted basis of 59 cents per share, compared with 33 cents from the same quarter a year ago, when Thomson Financial was looking for only 42 cents per share. Itron also gave a positive forecast for 2006, saying it expects revenue between $605 million and $615 million, a significant increase over 2005's $552.7 million and 2004's $399.2 million.
|The Picture of Strength |
Itron has digested its year-ago run and looks ready for more