UPDATE 2-Itron posts Q1 profit; shares up

Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:03pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.66 vs loss $0.55/shr a year ago

* Rev up 29 pct

* Shares up 3 pct in extended trade (Adds conference call details)

April 28 (Reuters) - Power meter maker Itron Inc (ITRI.O) reported a quarterly profit as higher shipments of OpenWay meters and modules drove North American revenue.

OpenWay, Itron's smart meter, helps utilities better manage limited energy supplies.

The company expects several AMI (Advanced Meter Infrastructure) projects to be announced in the next few months as a number of utilities finalize their AMI and Smart Grid plans, Chief Executive Malcolm Unsworth said on a conference call with analysts.

In early January, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a $2.3 billion tax credit to boost jobs by promoting clean energy, and Itron is one of the companies that will benefit from the clean energy tax credit. [ID:nN08251659]

For the first quarter, net income was $26.8 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with a loss of $19.7 million, or 55 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.01 per share.

Revenue rose 29 percent to $499 million, while North American revenue rose 74 percent.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 62 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $457.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company rose 3 percent to $78.10 in after-hours trading Wednesday on Nasdaq. They closed at $75.97. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri, Don Sebastian)

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