Roper Industries Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2003 Results


Roper Industries, Inc. reported full year diluted earnings per share (DEPS) from continuing operations, before debt extinguishment costs, of $2.01, compared with $1.95 in the prior year.

The Company reported Net DEPS of $1.41, which includes $16 million of previously announced debt extinguishment costs (net of related income tax benefits) from recapitalization initiatives completed in December.

In the fourth quarter, Roper reported DEPS, before debt extinguishment costs, of $0.56, and Net DEPS of $0.06 versus $0.53 in the prior year.

The Company also announced it generated a record $38 million of cash from operating activities in the fourth quarter, excluding the one-time debt extinguishment costs. Cash flow benefited from $4 million of working capital improvements. Table 2 provides a reconciliation of cash flow from operating activities. Roper Industries had $70 million of cash on hand at the end of the year and over $200 million of undrawn revolver capacity.

For the full year 2003, the Company reported record net sales of $657 million, 7% higher than the prior year. Net orders increased 11% in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter net sales of $170 million were also 7% higher than the prior year quarter. The Company noted particular strength in its water/wastewater markets and in certain of its oil & gas and imaging markets during the fourth quarter. Table 3 contains more information about sales in the quarter. 2003 results do not include any contributions from Neptune Technology Group Holdings (NTGH), which the Company acquired on December 29, 2003 and which will contribute to 2004 results.

“We are pleased to complete 2003 with our fourth consecutive quarter of organic growth, continued strong earnings and record cash flow,” said Brian Jellison, Chairman, President and CEO of Roper Industries. “We achieved record full year results despite $30 million of lower sales to Gazprom and $6 million of costs from restructuring activities that will benefit our performance in 2004.”

“2003 was a very successful year at Roper,” said Mr. Jellison. “In addition to recapitalizing the business and acquiring NTGH, we implemented our new marketfocused business structure, strengthened the leadership team, re-ignited our organic growth, completed several restructuring initiatives, and sold off a non-strategic business. With our strengthened financial resources, improving markets, growing cash flow and full pipeline of acquisition opportunities, Roper is well positioned for 2004.”

Outlook for Strong Results in 2004

In 2004, the Company plans to build on its 2003 successes by capturing the opportunities available from the NTGH acquisition, continuing its initiatives to drive organic growth, making strategic acquisitions, driving down net working capital and increasing organizational capabilities. The Company expects these activities to contribute to record 2004 results. The Company announced it is forecasting 2004 net sales of $875 - $925 million, DEPS of $2.45 - $2.70, and cash flow from operating activities of $140 - $160 million.

“With our primary markets stable and improving, we expect to post seasonally better results in the second quarter, largely from improving industrial and energy markets, higher shipments of large oil & gas and water/wastewater projects and benefits from our restructuring activities”, said Mr. Jellison. The Company is forecasting first quarter DEPS of $0.43 - $0.47, excluding NTGH inventory revaluation costs, on sales of $200 - $215 million, and second quarter DEPS of $0.57 - $0.63 on sales of $220 - $230 million.

Roper expects continuously improving results after its typically soft first quarter, which will include approximately $2 million of costs from inventory revaluation following the acquisition of NTGH, and higher costs for Roper to meet requirements of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act. The Company also expects to incur total restructuring costs of $1 million in the first quarter as it completes its restructuring activities by uniting its two AMOT operations under a single global brand structure and reducing the cost structure of its Gazprom-related operations.

Q4 Results by Segment

All comparisons are made against the year-ago period unless otherwise stated. The Industrial Technology segment reported net sales of $44 million in the fourth quarter, 14% higher due to strong water/wastewater project revenues, improved control system revenues and favorable currency effects. Fourth quarter net orders improved 11% to $41 million. Despite incurring $0.6 million of restructuring costs in the quarter, the segment produced higher operating profit of $9 million from higher sales. Excluding restructuring costs, fourth quarter margins were maintained at 21%.

The Instrumentation segment posted $51 million of net sales, a 14% increase as improvements in certain petroleum and materials testing markets were supplemented with favorable currency effects. Net orders improved 12%. Operating profits increased 25% on the strength of higher sales and benefits from the integration of the 2002 acquisition of Qualitek, offset somewhat from sales in US-denominated currency by European-based operations. Operating margins improved to 21%.

Scientific & Industrial Imaging segment net sales rose 6% to $42 million with volume increases across much of the product portfolio. Net orders decreased 3% due to the timing of orders placed by electron microscopy customers. Operating profits reached $7 million or 17% of net sales.

Energy Systems & Controls segment fourth quarter net sales of $34 million were 9% lower due to lower sales to Gazprom; however, net orders increased 34% to $38 million on significantly higher orders for other oil & gas customers. Lower sales to Gazprom reduced operating profit to $7 million and operating margins to 20%.

Conference Call

Telephonic replays of the conference call will be available for up to two weeks by calling

+1 (719) 457-0820 and using the passcode 571298.

Further information including tables can be seen on the Company’s website.

In December, the Company completed a public offering of common stock, an offering of convertible notes, and a new senior secured credit facility. Roper used the proceeds generally to fund the acquisition of NTGH, repay its existing credit facility, redeem its outstanding senior notes, and pay fees and costs, including $16 million of previously announced debt extinguishment costs (net of related income tax benefits).

About Roper Industries

Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP) is a diversified industrial growth company providing engineered products and solutions for global niche markets. Additional information about Roper Industries, including a glossary for terms used by the Company and registration for Company’s press releases via email, is available on the Company’s website.

The information provided in this press release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward looking statements include, among others, statements regarding the benefits we hope to realize from the NTGH acquisition, our ability to make future strategic acquisitions, our ability to execute our growth program, and our ability to achieve improved financial performance. These statements reflect management's current beliefs and are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward looking statement. Such risks and uncertainties include our ability to integrate the NTGH acquisition and realize expected synergies, any unforeseen liabilities associated with the NTGH acquisition, limitations on our business imposed by our indebtedness, reductions in our business with Gazprom, unfavourable changes in foreign exchange rates, difficulties associated with exports, risks and costs associated with our international sales and operations, difficulties in making and integrating acquisitions, product liability and insurance risks and costs, our ability to achieve anticipated benefits from the realignment of our operating structure, the cyclical nature of our business, future competition, changes in the supply of, or price for, parts and components, environmental compliance costs and liabilities, and potential write-offs of our substantial intangible assets. Other important risk factors are discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2002, and may be discussed in subsequent filings with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on any forward looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events.

More articles on this topic