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Itron Meters to Upgrade Fort Smith City Water Infrastructure

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Itron, Inc. ITRI recently joined forces with the City of Fort Smith to modernize the water infrastructure of the latter with Itron’s OpenWay Riva smart water solution. The two-year water meter replacement program will help upgrade the city’s aging water infrastructure.

Situated at northwest Arkansas, the City of Fort Smith services nearly 36,589 meters. The city has been striving to boost the safety and reliability of its water-distribution network, as roughly 16,800 meters have exceeded normal life expectancy. Among these, nearly 9,500 meters have exceeded 20 years in operation, 7,300 meters have outlived the recommended 10 years of operation, while a few have become completely dysfunctional.

Per the deal, the city will install Itron’s advanced water communication modules and new meters to improve meter-reading efficiency and slash operational costs. The modules also offer the flexibility to automate meter reading and ability to expand the system to include a multi-purpose network for smart water and smart-city applications afterward.

Itron, Inc. Price


Itron, Inc. Price | Itron, Inc. Quote

Recently, Itron inked a deal with Romanian water utility — SC CUP Dunarea Braila SA — to help reduce water losses by replacing the latter’s lower precision meters with its Flodis/Flostar M water meters. A Jordan Water Company — Miyahuna — will also use an Itron system, including static metering technology, and take advantage of Itron’s analytic services for three years to reduce water losses.

In January 2018, Itron signed a contract with the Rwandan water company, WASAC, to modernize its water-metering system. Furthermore, Itron and Cairns Regional Council (CRC) in Australia entered into a contract last year to modernize CRC’s water distribution system with Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution.

These contracts are expected to improve Itron’s backlog performance in the near term. Moreover, Itron will likely benefit from its backlog strength, backed by a solid base of OpenWay Riva platform, including smart metering, smart grid or smart cities, and the Internet of Things.

Share Price Performance

In the past year, Itron has underperformed the industry it belongs to, partly due to elevated expenses. The company’s shares have gained around 17% compared with 30% growth recorded by the industry.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Itron carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Agilent Technologies, Inc. A, Fortive Corporation FTV and Badger Meter, Inc. BMI. All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Agilent Technologies has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.2%. The company’s shares have moved up 24% in the past year.

Fortive has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.6%. The stock has gained 28% in a year’s time.

Badger Meter has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15.3%. The company’s shares have rallied 29% during the same time frame.

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