Why Badger Meter Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Badger Meter (NYS: BMI) popped today by as much 17% after the company reported strong first-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue added up to $76.2 million, with earnings per share of $0.39. Both figures handily beat the market's expectations of $69.8 million in sales and a profit of $0.26 per share. CEO Richard Meeusen said stability is returning to the municipal-water market.

Now what: Meeusen said last year was negatively affected by municipalities that held off on purchasing decisions because of macroeconomic uncertainties and added that this quarter marked the return to "more normal buying patterns." The results were led by strong sales in Badger Meter's ORION family of metering technology systems. Following up the report, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares to "buy" with a $40 price target.

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