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Itron, Inc. (ITRI - Analyst Report) has launched a new thermal energy meter - The Itron CF-UltraMaxx V meter that will facilitate utilities to measure energy accurately in heating and cooling systems as well as provide data about usage patterns. 
 
This new meter is available in capsule or in inline versions and is easy to install. It is capable of measuring very high and low energy flow for residential areas. Equipped with advanced smart metering features, the meter can provide detailed information about the operation of heating and cooling systems over a time period, including flow rate, volume, consumption and tariffs. It has flexible communications options and can be customized to meet both customers’ specifications as well the area where the meter is to be installed.
 
Furthermore, the meter offers two major innovations - a unique removable calculator that can be fixed on the meter in any position and a patented sensor sealing. The calculator ensures a high level of readability and the sensor sealing protects the meter against fraud.
 
Given its operating range, accuracy, flexibility, long life-expectancy, this new thermal energy meter is an exciting new offering for Itron’s customers and will provide an edge over the other thermal energy meters available in the market.
 
Itron’s third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings were 97 cents per share compared with 92 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 94 cents per share. Total revenues during the quarter fell 18.1% to $504.1 million, lagging behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $525 million. 
 
The company is undertaking restructuring initiatives to increase its efficiency and lower manufacturing costs. It anticipates annualized cost savings of $15 million in 2012, which is expected to further increase to $30 million in 2013.
 
But at the same time, Itron expects to book associated pre-tax charges in the range of $75-$80 million, a major portion of which will be incurred in the fourth quarter of 202. Therefore, higher operating expenses are likely to create margin headwinds in fiscal 2012 and first half of 2013. Moreover, the competition of the OpenWay projects is expected to impact revenues negatively in the next three quarters.
 
Itron currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #4. (Sell). Stocks in the same industry that are expected to perform strongly are National Instruments Corporation (NATI - Snapshot Report) and Teradyne Inc. (TER - Analyst Report) which hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 
Liberty Lake, Washington-based Itron Inc., along with its subsidiaries, is one of the principal technology providers to the energy and water industries worldwide. It produces electricity, gas, water, and heat meters, data collection and utility software solutions along with various other associated metering products for residential, commercial and industrial and transmission and distribution customers.

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