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Roper Industries' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 - Earnings Call Transcript

Next slide – here if we look at the fourth quarter income statement, you’ll see bookings were basically flat. There are a couple reasons for that. The fourth quarter last year, our orders were up 23% over the prior year, so it was an exceptionally unusual and difficult comp, and we had three things happen that we detailed last year. We had quite a substantial Mexican order for Neptune - that tends to be a non-recurring type of item when those happen; some unique shipments in the camera arena around some specific CAPEX that was going on in China; and then we had a Gaz de France project largely booked and that was completed in the fourth quarter this year. So those were unusual headwinds that exceeded $30 million.

The backlog is up though, as you can see, by 5.5%, so backlog was at $828 million which is an all-time record for a year-ending backlog number for us. Net sales were up 9%, 7% organic. Gross profit, as we covered, was up 20 BPs. Operating income at 187 million was up 13%, and operating margin was above 25%, up 80 BPs in the quarter. You can see the tax rate was actually a little bit of a negative headwind in the quarter compared to last year. We had a particularly favorable tax rate in Q4 last year – 27.7 for us, and the fourth quarter this year was 29%, so that cost us $0.02 a share. Nonetheless, we still are in at $1.23 on DEPS.

Next slide – if you look at fourth quarter cash flow, it’s for us kind of just a breathtaking accomplishment – 193 million of operating cash flow in the quarter, and that’s up dramatically. Last year, our record year was 155 million, and if you look at fourth quarter 2009 it was 120 million; so we just continue to pile up the cash. If you look at the variances, it’s up 24% as you can see on this slide from the fourth quarter a year ago, and 61% from 2009.

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