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Itron Inc. (ITRI - Analyst Report) has fortified its capabilities in the solar market with the introduction of the revenue-grade solar meter. The meters use Itron cellular communication module and efficiently monitor energy production of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (both residential and commercial).
The solar market has developed much due to the availability of third-party owned residential solar systems. Itron’s solar product portfolio further facilitates the growth by allowing third-party solar providers to precisely measure as well as manage solar production data with a secure, low-cost communication network for data collection.
In today’s world, much importance is given to renewable sources of energy. Renewable sources of energy are the natural sources with an ability to reproduce through biological or natural processes and replenished with the passage of time.
Photovoltaics (PV) method, where electrical power is generated by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors exhibiting photovoltaic effect, has gained wide acceptance due to the growing demand for renewable sources of energy. Itron’s cellular communication fits in the solar market quite seamlessly by rendering the solar meters cost effective, reliable and accurate.
Therefore, we believe Itron has ample opportunities to expand in the solar market leveraging its technology and expertise. Moreover, the decision to augment its solar product portfolio goes well with its strategy of integrating non-renewable energy and solar energy into the smart grid portfolio.
Recently, in order to expand the smart grid technology, Itron completed the acquisition of SmartSynch, thereby strengthening its cellular communication offering. It gives Itron the opportunity to cater to a wider client base with the best technology mix.
Itron, however, faces tough competition from a large number of companies offering similar products, systems, and services. Some of its well-known competitors include General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report) and Badger Meter Inc. (BMI - Analyst Report).
Itron retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
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