Itron, Inc. (ITRI - Free Report) recently extended its contract with Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) by three years to provide pay-for-performance demand-response solution.
The partnership between Itron and SMECO enables the latter to offer reliable power and lower rates for its customers. Itron’s long-standing partnership with SMECO began in 2008, with the installation of more than 45,000 load-control devices for residential and small commercial customers under SMECO’s CoolSentry outsourced demand-response program.
With the aforementioned contract extension, SMECO will be able to reduce its exposure to generation and transmission capacity charges. Per the contract, Itron will install the necessary load-control equipment and operate the program using the company’s IntelliSOURCE Enterprise cloud-based software. Itron will operate the program as a virtual power plant, increasing reliability and lowering costs for SMECO’s customers.
Itron has also been awarded several new contracts since the end of the third quarter. In the Water segment, the company has been awarded several contracts subsequent to the end of the quarter, including SANEPAR in Brazil, and contracts in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Malta.
On the back of these contracts, the company estimates significant sequential increase in bookings in fourth-quarter 2017, which will likely result in a book-to-bill ratio greater than 1:1.
In the past year, Itron has underperformed the industry it belongs to. The company’s shares have gained around 5.1% compared with 51.8% growth recorded by the industry.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Itron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks in the same industry are Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A - Free Report) , AMETEK, Inc. (AME - Free Report) and Teradyne, Inc. (TER - Free Report) . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank of 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 9.8%.
AMETEK has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.4%.
Teradyne has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.
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