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Dividend Aristocrats In Focus: Roper Technologies

Updated on April 19th, 2024 by Bob Ciura

Roper Technologies (ROP) has increased its dividend payout for 30 consecutive years, and as a result it is one of the Dividend Aristocrats.

The Dividend Aristocrats are a select group of 68 stocks in the S&P 500, with 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases. We believe the Dividend Aristocrats are among the best long-term investments that can be found in the stock market.

You can download a full list of all Dividend Aristocrats (along with important financial metrics that matter) by clicking on the link below:


Disclaimer: Sure Dividend is not affiliated with S&P Global in any way. S&P Global owns and maintains The Dividend Aristocrats Index. The information in this article and downloadable spreadsheet is based on Sure Dividend’s own review, summary, and analysis of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) and other sources, and is meant to help individual investors better understand this ETF and the index upon which it is based. None of the information in this article or spreadsheet is official data from S&P Global. Consult S&P Global for official information.

In order to become a Dividend Aristocrat, a company needs a strong business model, durable competitive advantages, and the ability to withstand global recessions.

Clearly, the Dividend Aristocrats are high-quality dividend growth stocks. Even more appealing is Roper’s high dividend growth rate. The most recent increase was a 10% raise.

Even among the Dividend Aristocrats, dividend hikes of 10% are rare, which makes Roper’s dividend increases over the last decade very impressive. This article will discuss Roper’s business, growth potential, and valuation.

Business Overview

Roper designs and develops software, including both software-as-a-service and licensed technology, and engineered products and solutions. Roper has a diverse portfolio of products and services, which it provides to a multitude of sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food, energy, water, and education.

Source: Investor Presentation

Roper focuses on three main business segments:

The Application Software business includes Aderant, CBORD, CliniSys, Data Innocations, Deltek, Frontline, IntelliTrans, PowerPlan, Strata, and Vertafore as its main products.

The Network Software business includes ConstructConnect, DAT, Foundry, iPipeline, iTradeNetwork, Loadlink Technologies, MHA, SHP, and SoftWriters as its main products.

Finally, the Technology Enabled Products segment includes CIVCO Medical Solutions, FMI, Inovonics, IPA, Neptune, Northern Digital, rf IDEAS, and Verathon as its main products.

Roper has broadly benefited from the steady expansion of the U.S. economy over the past decade. We believe the company can maintain a positive growth trajectory for many years going forward.

Growth Prospects

Roper is in the unique position of generating strong growth across its business, even when the broader U.S. economy faces challenges such as inflation and geopolitical risk.

On January 31st, 2024, Roper reported its Q4 and full-year results. On a continuing operations basis, quarterly revenues and adjusted EPS were $1.61 billion and $4.37, indicating a year-overyear increase of 13% and 11%, respectively.

The company’s momentum during the quarter remained strong, with organic growth coming in at 8%. Organic growth was once again driven by broad-based strength across its portfolio of niche-leading businesses. For the year, adjusted EPS landed at $16.71, up 17% compared to fiscal 2022.

Backed by Roper’s growth momentum, balance sheet strength, and a large pipeline of high-quality acquisition opportunities, management continues to believe Roper is well positioned for continued double-digit cash flow growth.

Roper introduced its adjusted EPS guidance for FY2024, expecting it to land between $17.85 and $18.15. We have utilized the midpoint of the updated range in our estimate, which implies a year-over-year increase of 7.7%.

Competitive Advantages & Recession Performance

Over the past several years, Roper pursued an asset-light business model, with a specific focus on software and engineered products and services. The company adopted this strategy to expand margins, by reducing capital expenditure needs, while also generating recurring revenue.

This has resulted in much stronger cash conversion over time and is likely to further increase its cash conversion ratio moving forward.

These factors provide Roper with tremendous competitive advantages. Its high margins and operational efficiency provide it with lots of cash flow that can be invested to stay ahead of the competition.

Another competitive advantage that Roper has is that it is highly diversified within the technology sector. It owns ~27 independent businesses with leadership positions in niche markets. Furthermore, these end markets are quite diversified and offer strong recurring revenue and customer retention.

Investors should also note that in the past, Roper was a cyclical business. It had the capacity for very strong growth when the economy was expanding, but also struggled during recessions. Earnings-per-share during the Great Recession are shown below:

As you can see, Roper was not a highly recession-resistant company. Earnings-per-share declined 16% in 2009. If the economy were to enter a recession in the years ahead, Roper could see earnings decline.

However, Roper’s shift away from industrial businesses in favor of software businesses has made it more recession resistant as it now generates a lot more recurring revenue.

Source: Investor Presentation

Roper also has a tremendous dividend growth record, numbering 31 years of consecutive dividend increases. Over the past decade, DPS has grown annually by an average of 13.8%.

We retain our DPS growth projection to 10%, which aligns with Roper’s latest increase and is easily supported by the underlying net income. We expect Roper to grow earnings-per-share at a rate of 10% annually through 2029.

Valuation & Expected Returns

Roper is a high-quality company, with strong growth prospects, thanks to the high level of demand for its technology. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the stock holds a premium valuation, as shares currently trade for a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.5. Its P/E multiple is slightly above its average valuation over the past 10 years.

Given that interest rates have risen substantially over the past year, we have a target price-to-earnings ratio of 26. If shares were to revert to this target valuation within five years, annual returns would be reduced by 2.5% over this time. Potential overvaluation is a risk that investors should consider before buying the stock.

However, this will be offset by earnings-per-share growth (expected at 10% per year) plus the 0.6% dividend yield, resulting in total expected returns of 8.1% per year. This is a satisfactory projected rate of return for a strong business.

Final Thoughts

Roper has a high-quality business model and 10% annual earnings-per-share growth is not an unreasonable assumption moving forward.

The stock is also a Dividend Aristocrat, and 10%+ annual dividend increases are also possible, thanks to the company’s high earnings growth rate.

Roper fits the bill of a great company, but the stock appears to be overvalued. While the stock could still generate solid returns for shareholders, it is not currently a buy as it does not exceed our 10% annual return threshold. Roper stock is a hold.

Additionally, the following Sure Dividend databases contain the most reliable dividend growers in our investment universe:

If you’re looking for stocks with unique dividend characteristics, consider the following Sure Dividend databases:

The major domestic stock market indices are another solid resource for finding investment ideas. Sure Dividend compiles the following stock market databases and updates them monthly:

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