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Press Release

Itron Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2014 Financial Results

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash.—Feb. 11, 2015—Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) announced today financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2014. Highlights include:

  • Quarterly and full year revenues of $510 million and $2.0 billion;
  • Quarterly and full year GAAP net loss per share of $1.25 and 58 cents;
  • Quarterly and full year non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 36 cents and $1.60;
  • Quarterly and full year adjusted EBITDA of $39 million and $161 million;
  • Twelve-month backlog of $747 million and total backlog of $1.5 billion; and
  • Quarterly bookings of $648 million.

"Although currency fluctuations impacted our fourth quarter revenues, strong sales performance delivered revenue growth in constant currency and significant increases in bookings and backlog," said Philip Mezey, Itron's president and chief executive officer. "Our results also include visible improvement in the performance of our Electricity segment, which was a top priority in 2014. At the same time, we have encountered near-term gross margin weakness, particularly in the Gas segment as we transition to new smart meters in important EMEA markets."

Mezey added, "The restructuring plans we are implementing in 2015 and 2016 will deliver sustained financial improvement in Electricity. We will also drive margin improvements in the Gas and Water segments. Given our significant backlog expansion, operational efficiency projects and expanded services focus for smart cities and the Internet of Things, we are confident in our plans to drive continued revenue growth and improved profitability going forward."

Financial Results
Revenues were $510 million for the quarter and $2.0 billion for the full year, compared with $524 million and $1.9 billion for the same periods in 2013. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates unfavorably impacted revenues by approximately $25 million for the quarter and $32 million for the year. Excluding the impact from foreign currency, revenues increased $12 million, or 2 percent, for the quarter and $54 million, or 3 percent, for the full year compared with the same periods in 2013. For the quarter, increased revenues were driven by growth in each segment — Electricity, Gas and Water. The increase for the full year period was driven by growth in the Water and Gas segments, which more than offset a decrease in the Electricity segment.

Gross margin for the quarter was 30.3 percent compared with the prior year period margin of 31.5 percent. For the full year, gross margin was 31.6 percent compared with 31.5 percent in 2013. Gross margin decreased in the quarter primarily due to an unfavorable product mix in the Gas and Water segments, partially offset by improved performance in Electricity. Gross margin for the year was consistent with the prior year as a result of improved performance in the Water segment offset by the impact of unfavorable product mix in the Gas segment. During the quarter, a net charge of $2 million was recorded in the Electricity segment for increased costs on an OpenWay project in North America. For the year, net charges on this project were $15.9 million which impacted the company's 2014 gross margin by 90 basis points. A similar charge was recorded on this project in the prior year, impacting 2013 gross profit by $16.5 million, or 80 basis points of gross margin.

GAAP operating expenses were $204 million in the quarter and $619 million for the full year of 2014 compared with $314 million and $750 million in the same periods of 2013. In the prior year, a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $173 million was recognized during the fourth quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the company announced a restructuring plan to improve operational efficiencies and reduce expenses primarily in the Electricity segment and related general and administrative activities. A net restructuring charge of $53 million was recorded in the quarter related to this plan. In addition, we recorded an expense of $14.7 million during the quarter related to the settlement of a litigation matter associated with the SmartSynch acquisition in 2012.

GAAP operating loss for the quarter was $49 million compared with $149 million in the same period of 2013. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $49 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with $154 million, or $3.93 per share. The operating and net losses for the quarter were attributable to lower gross profit, the restructuring charge and increased general and administrative expenses driven by the litigation settlement. A tax benefit was recorded in the quarter related to the operating losses partially offset by the write down of deferred tax assets. In addition, a benefit of approximately $4 million was recognized in the quarter related to the reinstatement of the U.S. research and development tax credit for 2014. The reduced level of operating and net losses compared with the prior year period were attributable to goodwill impairment recognized in the prior year partially offset by restructuring charges and higher general and administrative costs.

GAAP operating income for the full year was $4 million compared with an operating loss of $135 million in 2013. The increase was driven by higher revenues and lower operating expenses primarily driven by a decrease in goodwill impairment. GAAP net loss for the full year was $23 million, or 58 cents per share, compared with $147 million, or $3.74 per share, in 2013. The reduction in GAAP net loss compared with 2013 was driven by higher operating income, partially offset by higher net interest expense, higher foreign exchange losses due to the devaluation of currencies in certain markets and increased tax expense primarily related to the write down of deferred tax assets and lower U.S. research and development tax credits. In the prior year, the company recorded approximately $8 million in U.S. research and development tax credits, representing the credits for both 2013 and 2012. In the current year, a credit for 2014 was recognized for approximately $4 million.

Non-GAAP operating expenses, which exclude amortization of intangibles, restructuring charges, acquisition related expenses and the goodwill impairment, were $126 million for the quarter compared with $127 million in the prior year quarter. Increased global sales and marketing expenses offset lower general and administrative expenses primarily related to legal reserves. For the full year, non-GAAP operating expenses were $508 million compared with $497 million in 2013. The increase in expenses for the year was due to increased global sales and marketing expenses and higher general and administrative expenses primarily related to variable compensation.

Non-GAAP operating income was $29 million for the quarter compared with $38 million in the same period in 2013. The decrease in non-GAAP operating income was driven primarily by lower gross profit. Non-GAAP net income and diluted earnings for the quarter were $14 million, or 36 cents per share, compared with $14 million, or 36 cents per share in the prior year quarter. Tax expense for the quarter decreased compared with the same period in 2013 due to recognition of the U.S. research and development tax credit of approximately $4 million for 2014 and lower deferred tax asset write downs.

Non-GAAP operating income for the full year was $115 million compared with $118 million in 2013. Non-GAAP net income and diluted earnings for the year were $63 million, or $1.60 per share, compared with $75 million, or $1.90 per share, in 2013. The decrease in non-GAAP operating income for the full year was attributable to higher gross profit offset by increased operating expenses. Non-GAAP net income for the year was negatively impacted by higher net interest expense, higher foreign exchange losses due to the devaluation of currencies in certain markets and a higher effective tax rate driven primarily by the write down of deferred tax assets and year-over-year decrease in U.S. research and development tax credits of approximately $4 million.

Free cash flow was $4 million for the quarter compared with $24 million in the prior year quarter. The decrease was largely due to the timing of collection of certain accounts receivables and cash disbursements for payables, partially offset by improved inventory management and lower capital expenditures. Free cash flow for the full year was $88 million compared with $45 million in 2013. The increase over the prior year was primarily due to improvement in working capital management, particularly inventory, and lower capital expenditures.

During the quarter, the company repurchased 599,813 shares of Itron common stock at an average price of $40.58 per share pursuant to Board authorization to repurchase up to $50 million of Itron common stock during a 12-month period beginning March 2014. As of December 31, 2014, the company had repurchased 910,990 shares of Itron common stock at an average price of $40.30 per share, since inception of the authorized plan. In January 2015, the company repurchased 335,251 shares of common stock at an average price of $39.62, which fully utilized the $50 million authorized under the plan.

Financial Guidance
Itron's guidance for the full year 2015 is as follows:

  • Revenue between $1.8 and $1.9 billion
  • Non-GAAP diluted EPS between $1.60 and $2.00

The company's guidance reflects the negative effects of currency realignments, assuming a Euro to U.S. dollar average exchange rate of $1.14 in 2015 compared with an average rate of $1.33 in 2014. These currency realignments will have an unfavorable translation impact on both revenue and earnings and cause variability not seen in previous, more stable currency environments. The guidance also assumes a gross margin of 32 to 33 percent, average shares outstanding of approximately 39 million for the year and a non-GAAP effective tax rate for the year of 37 percent.

Earnings Conference Call
Itron will host a conference call to discuss the financial results and guidance contained in this release at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Feb. 11, 2015. The call will be webcast in a listen-only mode. Webcast information and conference call materials will be made available 10 minutes before the start of the call and are accessible on Itron's website athttp://investors.itron.com/events.cfm. A replay of the audio webcast will be available within 90 minutes of the conclusion of the live call and available for one year athttp://investors.itron.com/events.cfm. A telephone replay of the conference call will be available through Feb. 13, 2015. To access the telephone replay, dial (888) 203-1112 (Domestic) or (719) 457-0820 (International) and enter passcode 1686085.

Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements concerning our expectations about operations, financial performance, sales, earnings and cash flows. These statements reflect our current plans and expectations and are based on information currently available. The statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates, which could be inaccurate, and which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to vary materially from those anticipated. Risks and uncertainties include the rate and timing of customer demand for our products, rescheduling of current customer orders, changes in estimated liabilities for product warranties, changes in laws and regulations, our dependence on new product development and intellectual property, future acquisitions, changes in estimates for stock-based and bonus compensation, increasing volatility in foreign exchange rates, international business risks and other factors that are more fully described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Itron undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements, including our business outlook.

Non-GAAP Financial Information
To supplement our consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with GAAP, we use certain non-GAAP financial measures, including non-GAAP operating expense, non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. We provide these non-GAAP financial measures because we believe they provide greater transparency and represent supplemental information used by management in its financial and operational decision making. Specifically, these non-GAAP financial measures are provided to enhance investors' overall understanding of our current financial performance and our future anticipated performance by excluding infrequent or non-cash costs, particularly those associated with acquisitions. We exclude certain costs in our non-GAAP financial measures as we believe the net result is a measure of our core business. Non-GAAP performance measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, results prepared in accordance with GAAP. Our non-GAAP financial measures may be different from those reported by other companies. A more detailed discussion of why we use non-GAAP financial measures, the limitations of using such measures, and reconciliations between non-GAAP and the nearest GAAP financial measures are included in this press release.

Related Documents:
Itron Q4 2014 Earnings Statement.


About Itron

Itron enables utilities and cities to safely, securely and reliably deliver critical infrastructure services to communities in more than 100 countries. Our portfolio of smart networks, software, services, meters and sensors helps our customers better manage electricity, gas and water resources for the people they serve. By working with our customers to ensure their success, we help improve the quality of life, ensure the safety and promote the well-being of millions of people around the globe. Itron is dedicated to creating a more resourceful world. Join us: www.itron.com.

Itron® and OpenWay® are registered trademarks of Itron, Inc. All third-party trademarks are property of their respective owners and any usage herein does not suggest or imply any relationship between Itron and the third party unless expressly stated.

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