Roper Industries Earnings Call Insights: Zetec Details and Research Side

Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Zetec Details

Matt Summerville – KeyBanc: Couple of questions, first with respect to Zetec, Brian or John, can you remind us how big that business is? What sort of cost actions you are taking as this resets to what I assume will be a permanently lower level and what ultimately you think that level of revenue is?

Brian D. Jellison – Chairman, President and CEO: So Zetec is really a bifurcated business. We have a business which is around sensors that uses eddy current for a variety of applications. And then we have a business which we originally acquired which was focused on steam generation which is cooling tower application for nuclear plant. We’ve never really given any specific numbers, but I think we’ve probably said it’s somewhere between 12% or 15% or so of the segment. The reality is that we are looking kind of at a $10 million (debit) in 2013 versus 2012. It might not be quite that bad, because the eddy current sensor business is growing. And so if we can get that thing to grow a little better, it will help offset a little bit, but we had well over $5 million of revenue and $10 million planned. So it – I mean, that – we really did not expect the closure of San Onofre. That – and you may be reading about it. There are a lot of people that didn’t expect it and aren’t happy about it. San Diego is wondering how they’re going to produce energy, but that’s a problem they have to deal with. Thinking about it next year, I wouldn’t make – it’s not like – we expect the business development of new products into new products and make up for those problems. So it’s not like – I wouldn’t reduce our model by $10 million in perpetuity because of what happened this year on that, maybe…

Matt Summerville – KeyBanc: Then as my follow-up for CCC, what are you seeing that’s driving the change in bidding activity and can you frame that up numerically at all?

John Humphrey – EVP and CFO: So the place therefore we are seeing a lot of bid activity, it actually moves beyond. So we have pipeline applications particularly with some technology that’s the United Controls Group, so the UCG acquisition, the bolt-on we did about two years ago, some of that technology is able to be applied to some additional pipeline opportunities that we really didn’t have technology for back when it was only CCC. So that’s been helpful and there is more activity on the upstream side. So CCC has done quite a bid on the upstream side (through that) offshore platforms with Control Systems for compressors and those situations. They are seeing more activity there. I mean predicting win rates is always a difficult thing but there is sufficient bid activity there the stress to see CCC has been somewhere between mid and high single digit growth for the next (few) years.

 

Research Side

Deane Dray – Citi: Brian for the lower guidance on 2013 I think you have given a good explanation on the Zetec side but you mentioned also the lower Life Science research. Is that in the Imaging side or are there other businesses that are contributing to the lower outlook there?

Brian D. Jellison – Chairman, President and CEO: Well it’s the research side of the business is what – they are expected some improvement in Japan, some general improvement. We are not seeing any of that and so we just don’t think we can include it in our thinking. It could happen. When we look at that mid-point guidance coming down $0.06 it’s really about half or a little more, half the two-thirds for Zetec and that’s the other half is more of the Imaging thing. We do have some OEM people on inventories that are not taking anything at all. So, that whole industry seems to be really tepid and there are few products that get shipped into people that are using the imaging technology for transportation and that business is certainly not robust, I would say.

Deane Dray – Citi: You gave me good explanation about the Hansen valve replacement process and just a couple of quick follow-ups here, what would be the timing for that, you’d expect to complete the replacement and is there any provision for liabilities, had there been any damages other than just the replacement process?

Brian D. Jellison – Chairman, President and CEO: Yeah. There are sort of two different things going on. I mean, this is really beyond our normal warranty kind of thing that we wouldn’t really even have to do what we are doing, but these are refrigeration valves that are supplemental point of safety applications in these plants in which they are. And there are various things that could happen. This was one of those things that what happen is these the vendor put on a transparent finish on these things, some of which is okay, many some of which is not, okay, and are growing fast. So, in our own testing and lifecycle testing, we’ve seen some things that we didn’t really like in June and finally, have gotten to the bottom of it. So, in order to encourage people to make the replacement, we’re covering some of their installation labor and giving them a new product if they send us back proof that they’ve made the change out. So, that portion of that, no matter how we end up with the vendor, we got reimbursed for the whole $9 million. It’s still a charge, we – I mean we are going to incur that charge. So, our obligation and our opinion was to take care of the customer and the dealer network and then secondly take the charge if we get all of it back or some of it back, we’d exclude it from our earnings performance anyway, which is why we think it’s a one-time item. Now as far as the liability, we have deep liability for (tax and) if something were to happen. But this – it doesn’t come to the insurance clause, because it’s really a product defect. There – no one’s been hurt or injured. There’ no difficulty. If you saw this valve, it’s a cap thing. It’s a pretty decent thing, maybe some on the size of a bowling ball. I think that is $2 part inside it, which if you don’t change it out for year from now, they normally do, but it might not last for a four or five years. It’s something that we’re just not comfortable with.

Deane Dray – Citi: Just one last quick one from me, for MHA what’ the impact of gross margin for the segment and on a go-forward basis, how much is MHA contributing on a gross margin line?

John Humphrey – EVP and CFO: It is clearly healthy and I don’t have the exact contribution amount for MHA separate from the rest of it. Both Sunquest and MHA come in with – because the way their business model operates, as well as because the value they provide to customers, both of them come it at north of 75% gross margins, because all of the value they are providing is really on the operating expense side with the technology and the customer support model, contracting our – all of the software developers in those two business. So, on a gross margin basis, they come in pretty high obviously on an EBITDA margin or also above the Company average as well. But Dean, I’d have to get back to you with the specifics on how MHA helps, but I know that even excluding MHA we had gross margin expansion in the segment.

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