Itron Inc. Stock Upgraded (ITRI)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry. The net income increased by 106.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$517.08 million to $35.35 million.
  • 37.20% is the gross profit margin for ITRON INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 7.00% is above that of the industry average.
  • ITRON INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ITRON INC swung to a loss, reporting -$12.55 versus $2.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.80 versus -$12.55).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $44.61 million or 32.51% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
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Itron, Inc. provides metering solutions, meter data management software, and knowledge application solutions to electric, natural gas, and water utilities worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of -3.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Itron has a market cap of $1.62 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Itron Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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