Michael Chesser knows what he's doing -- he's a
smart business man, and will save itron's booty.
the stock will take a hit tomorrow after the report
today, but look to pick it up somewhere under 5. It WILL
The replay of Itron's Q4'99 Financial Results
Conference Call can be accessed beginning February 9, 2000
at 3:45pm PT until February 11, 2000 at 3:45pm PT by
calling the following number: 1-800-633-8284 and enter
reservation # 14175114. Please see our Calendar of Events for
an email reminder of this and other upcoming
PTangRing; the only tough questions posed by the analysts
were by Doug Duffy. He was somewhat emotional in his
questioning. I thought Chesser's responses to him were forward
looking while CFO Remington's responses were more
reactionary. Itron suggested they take the discussion[Duffy,
Remington, Chesser]offline as Duffy was not satisfied. Seems
to me former CEO, Chairman Humphreys sure left a
mess. Maybe it wasn't all of his making but still it
Sure would be helpful to hear other,
more qualified posters' opinions and comments
concerning the C.C. skep
Previous Poor Management and
re>can anyone explain why the company loses money?<
Well, you have to have had the money to lose it. Itron
raised some in their IPO and they made money for years.
What changed in the last several years causing them to
lose money? First of all I think the previous CEO went
"soft". Secondly Itron's bread and butter products[hand
held and mobile meter reading]are not as "leading
edge" as say 6 or 7 years ago and probably don't
command industry attention[demand]as much as they did
when the utilities were changing their meter reading
method. The company says they became less efficient with
dispersed manufacturing[poor integration of acquistions],
more manufacturing overhead than necessary[overly
optimistic about industry demand for product]and with the
fixed network AMR system they didn't understand the up
front costs or even the installation enough before the
contracts were written. I think Chesser is more bottom line
oriented than previous management and indicated he would
be steering clear of outsourcing contracts that
involve building Itron owned AMR systems. The utilities
can get cheaper financing for this anyway and they
should own these future systems and share the risk in my
From the conference call, management expects to be
profitable going forward. ALL restructuring charges are
behind the company although some relatively minor costs
which have already been taken will accrue in the first
part of 2000.
>Re sale of system to Duneusge
I dont understand it either. They sell
the system at a BIG LOSS to us shareholders, and by
the same accounts the system was "good" and performed
beyond the customer's expectations, so why did itron
(us) lose money?<
It may be better to ask
Why did Itron lose money on this fixed network AMR
system? and Why did Itron decide to take the loss now
rather than over a period of years?
I guess we
lost money because of competitive pressures[CNDS's
growth at any cost model hurt us as well as
theselves]and also because Itron didn't know the costs involved
in installing and running the system.Poor management
execution if you will. Apparently Itron's new management
thinks they can use the cash from the sale[even with the
large loss incured]more effectively in other ways. Some
will be "invested" in the continued development of a
new Commercial & Industrial 2-way AMR product that is
undergoing beta testing now and will be introduced beginning
of 3rd quarter. Chesser wants to develop this into a
2-way product that will eventually reach down to the
residential level. skep
I have popped in for one of my infrequent visits.
I know you missed me.<g>
Chesser has written off everything but the kitchen
sink...maybe that too. A good start.
Wall St. will give
him a pass...and probably a bit of praise...for this.
But that is just the first step. If Itron continues
to lose money in the first quarter, or putzes around
at break-even, you can kiss a $5 share price
goodbye. 'Twould be the time for a prudent investor to
admit defeat, and move on.
Good luck to you.
(ONE ain't treatin' us much better, sad to say.)
Appreciate your response and hope management will
be able to pull it off, for the sake of keeping
folks employed and customers serviced.
As far as
an investment, ITRI is a loser. (Can't retire on
those stock options). Take a look at the chart. I've
put my money into companies like CSCO (doubled since
last summer). Worked too hard for a puny
Good luck to you.
I heard that some of the VP appointments were in
fact the people that had been with the customers and
that most of the insiders thought they were good
choices. Several of them were out of Marketing and the COO
used to work for SLB. I agree with dog_v. This team
has the ability to pull it out, if they are willing
to do the work. Maybe your friend feels left out.
Anybody else listen?
I thought Douglas
Duffy's[of D.C. Capital]exchange with Remington and Chesser
was refreshing. He sure questioned Itron's
forward-looking viability in trying to finance developing a "new"
fixed network 2-way, real time AMR. And he didn't[or
wouldn't] swallow Itron's explaination of why the Duquesne
system would yeild a negative 2% lifetime yield, and
thus the distressed sale price of the system to
A couple of Duffy quotes:
whole fixed network system[idea]from what I can tell
has been a fiasco financially..."
"Is Itron a
viable thing here or is this just kind of a hope after a
The rest of the call and questions
were pretty much the usual stuff. Chesser seems to be
pretty much forward looking now with ALL the write offs
behind him and seems to see a growing future for
Anybody got a good handle of Itron's book value now?
Using Yahoo's old number and the booked losses I
get[$7.48-3.78]=$3.70/share. What's realstic? skep
I bought the stock twice. once in one account 100
shares @ $15 and a second time in a different account
200 shares @ $7. It is in a ire, and I liked the
story. The last earnings was a shock, so I was going to
sell the stock. I did sell 100 shares at $5.5 but had
to incur a second commission to get rid of the other
200 shares. I kept them. Now the stock is at $7 go
figure. I like the explanantion, probably some market
makers having some fun. It made me smile. On the other
hand, Mimi Scarpelli answered her e mail, so she should
I am looking to sell the other 200
shares, but was plesently surprised. I am in no hurry.
The company has potential to make a lot of money. But
potential has been given 3 years, and it has cost me
$1000.00 so far.
factor in a profitless industry. At last count,
there were 62 manufacturers in their trade association,
AMRA. CNDS just submerged after wasting over a billion
(they tried to reinvent CATV...too bad it had already
been invented over 30 years ago). The AMR landscape is
littered with firms that thought they had a better idea.
Over 60 companies, including ABB and GE, ( but not
including those who don't belong to the trade association)
still think the ultimate solution has been found.
Many technologies have been tried-wireless,telephone,
landline, cable and electric line-yet only about 15% of the
US market has been penetrated and less
The major problem seems to be that the solutions are
too expensive to be cost effective, yet the
manufacturers are losing their proverbial tails. One estimate
is that 90-95 per cent of all market
are losing money-yet few quit-they have to be carried
out like CNDS and more capital has flooded into these
firms and bleed out than any sector save the internet
with as little to show for it.
profitable companies seem to be niche players that carve out
a small area of the market and mine it for all
their worth. An example would be the Hunt "turtle".
Unfortunately Hunt is private and floating in long green. The
mass market ops like ITRI and CNDS just can't get the
Another trend, best example,
DQE, is that utilities are no longer interested in
owning the equipment, all they want is the
Therefore, the manufacturers must take the obsolescence risk
and that risk is substantial.
With no money at
risk, what i to keep DQE or any other utility from
migrating to another
provider which is cheaper or better
and both are either out there or on their
My guess is that the ultimate product will be
invented by some outfit currently best characterized as
"two guys in a garage".
P.S. If it is true that
ITRI said they were going to try to invent 2way
real-time meter reading I hope they read this message
board-it will save them all sorts of time and
embarrassment. It has already been invented and is being
deployed. I have seen it myself.
Good luck to us all.