Badger Meter Measures Up with Record Q4

| About: Badger Meter, (BMI)
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by Katharine Schildt

The demand for utilities is something that will always be prevalent. And the need for more efficiency and green technology is in high demand.

The leader of these technologies has just hit its stride, making it a promising addition to anyone’s portfolio.

Milwaukee-based Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI) makes “liquid flow and measurement technologies,” which may not sound terribly thrilling. But this company’s growth is anything but dull.

On Wednesday, Badger Meter posted fourth-quarter net income of $6.2 million, or 42 cents per share for the quarter ended December 31, up from $2.7 million, or 18 cents per share.

It also reported revenue of $67.6 million, up 18% from $57.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. For the full year, net income was $25.1 million, up more than 52% from $16.5 million.

Badger Meter Has Record 4th Quarter

“The record fourth quarter capped what has been an overall year for Badger Meter,” said Richard A. Meeusen, Chairman, President and CEO. He also stated that the weakening economy hurt Badger Meter’s industrial markets, but the utility business, which contributed about 83% of sales, “did not experience any significant impact in 2008.”

“Higher sales of all three of the advanced meter reading technologies we offer were again a major contributor to the increased fourth-quarter sales, as well as our performance for the year. These products include our proprietary ORION drive-by automatic meter reading (AMR) system and the Itron AMR system, as well as our GALAXY advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. In 2008, we had a full fourth quarter of sales of the ORION system as part of the three-year $39.8 million contract with the city of Chicago, compared to only a partial fourth quarter in 2007. Sales of residential water meters in Mexico and commercial water meters also increased in the fourth quarter,” Meeusen said.

Many of their newer products will save both money and energy, something that will be a continuing trend in the years to come.

We continue to be optimistic about the long-term outlook for Badger Meter. In addition to normal replacements, our business is also driven by the water shortages in the United States and the focus of communities on environmental sustainability, which can both be improved through metering. The demand for our metering technologies is driven by our customers’ needs for improved operating efficiency. We believe these market forces will continue to drive our successful business model in the years ahead.