Itron, Inc. (ITRI - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 non-GAAP earnings of 70 cents per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 27 cents. The figure improved significantly from 13 cents in the year-ago quarter but declined from 88 cents in the previous quarter.
Revenues came in $614.58 million, which grew 1.2% from the year-ago quarter and 4.7% sequentially. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $590 million.
The top line was driven by robust performance of network solution segment of the company. Further, strong customer demand remained a major positive. Additionally, strengthening supply chain environment contributed to the first-quarter results.
Product and services revenues accounted for 88.7% and 11.3% of total revenues. While product revenues improved 1.4% from the year-ago quarter, services revenues declined 0.5%.
Following the better-than-expected first-quarter results, shares of the company have risen 21.4%. Coming to one year price performance, shares of Itron have lost 3.5% against the industry’s rally of 11.6%.
The company’s bookings were $473 million, down 15.1% year over year. The company’s backlog came in at $3 billion, decreasing 3.2%, year over year. Further, its 12-month backlog came in at $1.4 billion, which remained flat year over year.
Nevertheless, the company remains optimistic about its supply chain optimization strategy and strong focus toward enhancing operation efficiency.
Segment in Detail
Device Solutions: The company generated $221.8 million revenues (36.1% of total revenues) from this segment, down 11.1% from the year-ago quarter. This was primarily owing to decline in the EMEA volumes during the reported quarter. Further, operating margin within this segment contracted 380 bps year over year. Nevertheless, the company witnessed improvement in supply chain scenario and enhanced performance by book and ship business.
Networked Solutions: Revenues from this segment came in $336.4 million (54.7% of total revenues), increased 11.3% year over year. This was driven by growing customer deployments and robust performance in North America AMI market. Notably, operating margin expanded 190 bps year over year on the back of benefits from integration synergies.
Outcomes: This segment generated $56.4 million revenues (9.2% of total revenues), up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. The company witnessed strengthening recurring managed service offerings and persistent growth in North America deployments, which in turn drove the segment’s top line. Further, operating margin came in 18.5% against a loss of 1.2% in the year-ago quarter. This can be attributed to benefits from Silver Spring Networks buyout and favorable product mix.
For the first quarter, Itron’s gross margin was 30.5%, which expanded 90 bps from the prior-year quarter. This can be attributed to favorable product mix and robust higher-margin software sales.
Non-GAAP operating expenses were $130.6 million, down 14.1% year over year. This decrease resulted from strong restructuring and integration initiatives.
Non-GAAP operating margin came in 9.2%, expanding significantly 460 bps from the year-ago quarter. This was driven by robust Networked Solutions and Outcomes segments.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flows
As of Mar 31, 2019, cash and cash equivalents totaled $110.8 million compared with $120.2 million as of Dec 31, 2018. Accounts receivables were $473.1 million, increasing from $437.2 million in the previous quarter.
Itron generated $24.9 million cash from operations compared with $42.4 million generated in the previous quarter.
Moreover, the company generated free cash flow of $13.5 million, up from $24.9 million in prior quarter.
For second-quarter 2019, management expects earnings and revenues to be flat or slightly down on a sequential basis.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Itron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Ciena Corporation (CIEN - Free Report) , ACI Worldwide, Inc. (ACIW - Free Report) and Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A - Free Report) . While Ciena and ACI Worldwide sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Agilent carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for Ciena, ACI Worldwide and Agilent is pegged at 16.75%, 12% and 11.75%, respectively.
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