Recommended by: Robert Stimpson, manager of the Black Oak Emerging Technology Fund (BOGSX), ranked No. 10 by Bloomberg Rankings
Likes it because: The stock, trading at about 15 times projected earnings for 2011, is being undervalued on uncertainty about possible delays in utilities rolling out big infrastructure projects thanks to states' fiscal woes. Stimpson is confident utilities will be compensated through public rate cases for expenditures on smart meters, while federal stimulus money earmarked for electric grid modernization and automation should help revive infrastructure spending. Itron's (ITRI) 2007 acquisition of Actaris, which designs and makes electricity, gas, water, and heat meters, gives the company access to growth in markets outside North America.
The stock's year-to-date performance through Oct. 15: -7.9 percent