NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Roper Industries Inc., which makes engineered products for water and energy companies, jumped Thursday after its first-quarter profit beat analyst estimates. After the market closed Thursday, the Sarasota, Fla., company reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 59 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, 57 cents per share. KeyBanc analyst Matt J. Summerville called the results "a fairly solid performance ... given that organic sales declined at a faster rate than we (and Roper) anticipated." Summerville, who reiterated his "Buy" rating on the stock, also said the shares are one of his "top picks" based on his expectations for "significant" free cash flow, strong growth in the core business, benefits from acquisitions and exposure to end markets that are less affected by the recession. Prospects for acquisitions are enhanced by Roper's $650 million of available capital, added Summerville, who has a $52 price target. In afternoon trading, shares rose $5.86, or 14.1 percent, or $47.35.
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