S&P REITERATES BUY RECOMMENDATION ON SHARES OF ITRON INC (Standard & Poor's) ITRI posts Q1 operating EPS of $0.99, vs. $0.97, beating our $0.83 estimate. Sales rose 13%, well above our view, on higher than expected North America and International segment revenues. Margins widened, above our forecast, on favorable product mix. We see North America sales being driven by smart meter projects and European revenue increasing on rising gas and water meter projects. We positively view debt reduction efforts. We lift our '11 operating EPS estimate by $0.19 to $4.22 and keep '12's at $4.23. We keep our 12-month target price at $72, on our DCF analysis.