Itron: Q4 & Full Year Results
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LIBERTY LAKE, Washington - Itron, Inc. (ITRI) announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2016. Highlights include:
Quarterly and full year revenues of $495.7 million and $2.0 billion;
Quarterly and full year gross margin of 31.6 percent and 32.8 percent;
Quarterly and full year GAAP net income of $11.6 million and $31.8 million;
Quarterly and full year GAAP diluted earnings per share of 30 cents and 82 cents; and
Quarterly and full year non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 68 cents and $2.54.
“Itron’s fourth quarter results reflect a strong finish to a year of significant improvement in financial and operational performance,” said Philip Mezey, Itron’s president and chief executive officer. “Highlights from the quarter include improved earnings and robust revenue growth in the Electricity segment driven by growth in smart solutions. Adjusted EBITDA increased by more than 50 percent to $54 million driven by our focus on predictability, profitability and growth. This level of EBITDA equates to 11 percent of revenues, demonstrating that we are making progress toward our mid-teens goal. In addition, the board's authorization of a new share repurchase program reflects confidence in Itron’s profitable growth initiatives, financial flexibility and long-term business outlook."
Summary of Fourth Quarter Consolidated Financial Results
(All comparisons made are against the prior year period unless otherwise noted)
Total revenue was $495.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $496.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Foreign currency exchange rates unfavorably affected revenue by $7 million compared with the prior year. In addition, strong revenue growth in the Electricity segment, which grew 13 percent, offset decreases in the Gas and Water segments.
Gross margin was 31.6 percent compared with the prior year period margin of 30.7 percent. The improvement in gross margin was driven by favorable product mix and reduced warranty expense, partially offset by increased variable compensation.
Operating expenses were $125.9 million compared with $136.0 million in 2015. The decrease was due primarily to lower legal costs and reduced headcount in general and administrative departments, which was partially offset by higher variable compensation and restructuring costs.
Operating Income, Net Income, Earnings per Share
Operating income improved to $30.8 million compared with operating income of $16.4 million in 2015. Non-GAAP operating income improved to $44.7 million compared with $25.9 million in 2015.
Net income for the quarter was $11.6 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $9.0 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, in 2015. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $26.4 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, compared with $17.4 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, in 2015.
The increases in GAAP and non-GAAP operating income were driven by improved gross margin and lower operating expenses. GAAP and non-GAAP net income and earnings per share reflect the company’s increased operating income partially offset by a higher effective tax rate. The increased tax rate was due to the mix of taxable income by jurisdiction and discrete items.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year Cash Flow
Cash provided by operating activities was $34.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $53.2 million in 2015. Non-GAAP free cash flow was $21.0 million in the fourth quarter compared with $42.6 million in the prior year. The decreases in quarterly cash from operations and free cash flow over the prior year were primarily driven by timing of accounts payable, timing of remittances on certain large contracts and a $2.4 million increase in capital expenditures.
For the full year, cash from operating activities totaled $115.8 million in 2016 compared with $73.4 million in 2015. Free cash flow was $72.3 million in 2016 compared with $29.4 million in 2015. The increases in cash from operations and free cash flow over the prior year were primarily driven by increased profitability and reduced inventory, partially offset by the timing of remittances on certain large contracts. Capital expenditures were flat year-over-year at approximately $44 million.
Bookings in the quarter totaled $653 million. Total backlog was $1.7 billion and 12-month backlog was $761 million at 2016 year end, compared with $1.6 billion and $836 million at 2015 year end, respectively.
Share Repurchase Program
On Feb. 23, 2017, the board of directors authorized a new program to repurchase up to $50 million of Itron common stock over a 12-month period beginning Feb. 23, 2017. Repurchases under the program will be made in the open market in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Financial Guidance – Full Year 2017
Itron’s guidance for the full year 2017 is as follows:
Revenue between $1.9 and $2.0 billion
Non-GAAP diluted EPS between $2.80 and $3.10
This guidance assumes foreign currency exchange rates remain consistent with current levels on average in 2017, average fully diluted shares outstanding of approximately 39.5 million for the year and a non-GAAP effective tax rate for the year of approximately 35 percent. A reconciliation of forward-looking non-GAAP diluted EPS to the GAAP diluted EPS has not been provided because we are unable to predict with reasonable certainty the potential amount or timing of restructuring and acquisition-related expenses and their related tax effects without unreasonable effort. These items are uncertain, depend on various factors, and could have a material impact on GAAP results for the guidance period.
Itron is a world-leading technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water. We provide comprehensive solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water. Our broad product portfolio includes electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement devices and control technology; communications systems; software; as well as managed and consulting services. With thousands of employees supporting nearly 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Itron applies knowledge and technology to better manage energy and water resources. Together, we can create a more resourceful world. Join us: www.itron.com