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Itron, Inc. Message Board

  • dog_v dog_v Feb 9, 2000 1:21 PM Flag

    hold on...

    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
    come back...

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    • 'cause price is up 3/16 as I'm writing. Perhaps earnings surprise? Keeping my fingers crossed. itausam

    • you may be right. I, too, have never been an
      emplyee of the company, nor a relative of one. And I do
      not have much faith in the short-term value of this
      stock. But i do believe that your friends are looking
      for a soft little piilow to lay their heads upon when
      they enter their manager's office. Only some
      Hard-Line, strong handed, shrewd management will be able to
      pull the Company out of the whole -- and that's
      exactly what this management crew brings to the table.

      Let me reiterate -- I believe this stock is a long
      term purchase -- UNLESS they go doen to the low fours
      tomorrow. then I'd pick up as much as possible -- looking
      for it to comeback to 5, 5 1/2 by end of two week
      period.

    • 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
      Duquesne.

      A couple of Duffy quotes:

      "...the
      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
      dream here?"

      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
      Itron.

      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

    • 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
      return.

      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.

    • What was company's response to tough questions?

    • 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
      events.

      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
      was BIG.

      Sure would be helpful to hear other,
      more qualified posters' opinions and comments
      concerning the C.C. skep

    • 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
      overseas.
      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
      participants
      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.

      The only
      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
      margins necessary.

      Another trend, best example,
      DQE, is that utilities are no longer interested in
      owning the equipment, all they want is the
      meterreads.
      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
      way.

      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.

    • Previous Poor Management and
      Execution

      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
      opinion.

      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
      (sic) ...
      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>

      Looks like
      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.)

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