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Roper Technologies Inc  (NYSE:ROP)
Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call
Oct. 26, 2018, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

The Roper Technologies Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results Conference Call will now begin. For your information, today's conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the call over to Zack Moxcey. Please go ahead.

Zack Moxcey -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning, and thank you all for joining us as we discuss the third quarter financial results for Roper Technologies. Joining me on the call this morning are; Neil Hunn, President and Chief Executive Officer; Rob Crisci, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Jason Conley, Vice President and Controller; and Shannon O'Callaghan, Vice President of Finance. Earlier, this morning, we issued a press release announcing our financial results. The press release also includes replay information for today's call. We have prepared slides to accompany today's call, which are available through the webcast and are also available on our website.

Now if you will please turn to Slide 2. We begin with our Safe Harbor statement. During the course of today's call, we will make forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties as described on this page, in our press release, and our SEC filings. You should listen to today's call in the context of that information.

And now please turn to Slide 3. Today, we will discuss our results for the quarter, primarily on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. Reconciliations between GAAP and adjusted measures can be found in our press release and in the appendix of this presentation on our website. For the third quarter, the difference between our GAAP results and adjusted results consist of the following items: amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets; purchase accounting adjustments to acquired deferred revenue; a one-time debt extinguishment charge; and lastly, a measurement period adjustment to 2017 provisional income tax amounts, resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

And now if you will please turn to Slide 4. I will hand the call over to Neil. After our prepared remarks, we will take questions from our telephone participants. Neil?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Zack, and good morning, everyone. Before going through today's agenda, we'd like to thank all of you who have reached out to express your support and concern for Brian, our Executive Chairman. On a personal note, I would like to thank Brian for his tremendous leadership and his long-term mentorship to me. I want to assure everyone, it's business as usual here at the company, which you'll see throughout today's presentation.

We have a very deep and talented management team, both in the field and here in Sarasota that is committed to the continued execution of our proven strategy. To that end, we recently promoted both Rob Crisci, our CFO; and John Stipancich, our General Counsel, to Executive Vice President. These promotions are indicative of their past contributions to the enterprise and also their go-forward contributions to the team here at Roper. Our CRI-based processes and disciplines are deeply embedded in our culture and we will continue working to make Roper an even better company in the years to come.

Now, turning to today's agenda. We'll start with our Q3 enterprise results, then turn to our segment performance and outlook, followed by our guidance update, and then we'll open up for questions.

Next slide, please. As we look at our Q3 2018 enterprise highlights, it was really a fantastic quarter. Record results with revenue, EBITDA, net earnings, cash flow, and virtually any financial category that you can look at. Revenue grew 13% to $1.32 billion with organic revenue growth of 9%. We saw double-digit revenue growth across all four segments, really just fantastic performance and very broad execution.

Gross profit grew 14%, with gross margins expanding 80 basis points to a record 63.8%. When you look at gross profit and gross profit margins, it really highlights the power of our niche strategy and our team's ability to nimbly execute through the quarter. As we look at this margin, there was very little impact of tariffs or any cost push inflation that flow through our numbers. It was really just spectacular performance across the board relative to our margins.

EBITDA grew 16% to $473 million. EBITDA margins expanded 100 basis points to 35.8%. Importantly, we saw double-digit EBITDA growth and margin expansion across all four segments. Earnings before taxes grew 18% to $411 million, DEPS grew 31% to $3.09, and free cash flow grew 34% to $404 million or 31% of revenue. So as we look at the quarter, we're certainly delighted with the breadth of the performance, but also like the top to bottom leverage. You see that revenue grew 13%, gross profit grew 14%, EBITDA plus 16%, earnings before taxes 18%, DEPS 31%, free cash flow 34%; leverage all the way from the top to the bottom, really a fantastic result.

Now I'll turn it over to Rob to take us through the income statement.

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Neil. Good morning, everyone. So, on the next slide, we have our Q3 income statement metrics, little bit more detail on some of the numbers that Neil had outlined on the previous slide. On revenue, our result was a 13% overall growth and 9% organic growth. We exceeded, importantly, $1.3 billion in a quarter for the first time and we remain on track for double-digit revenue growth this year. On margins, up 80 basis points on gross margins, up 100 basis points on EBITDA margin. As Neil mentioned, EBITDA margin expansion across all four of our reporting segment and 16% EBITDA growth overall.

Again, we'd like to point out that the growth this year in earnings before tax, as many of you know, we are a company that benefits quite a bit from the recent tax reform, but even setting that aside, we were able to grow our earnings before taxes 18% in the quarter, a very nice result. And then if you carry that down to the DEPS line, we grew 31%. I would note, on the tax rate for the quarter of 21.5%, that was a little bit better than we expected coming into the quarter. We would expect to be right around 23% for Q4 and that number embedded in our guidance.

Next slide, please. The next slide is, as you know, an important slide for Roper, the cash flow slide. It really was an outstanding cash flow quarter, excellent growth of 32% operating cash flow and importantly, an increase of over $100 million in cash flow versus last year. On the free cash flow line, $404 million of free cash flow, so you see here, $418 million of operating cash flow converts to $404 million of free cash flow, the first quarter that we have exceeded $400 million in free cash flow and that's really a testament to our asset-light model with very little CapEx and the ability to really generate a lot of cash, so we continue to compound. On a full year basis, we certainly expect to be double-digit cash flow growth. We're now up to 12% year-to-date versus last year on operating cash flow with $966 million year-to-date.

Next slide. Again, another important slide for Roper, especially, is our asset-light business model net working capital slide. So, as of 9/30/18, you can see on the column on the right, our inventory 4.4% of revenue, receivables 16.6% of revenue, payables and accruals 11.5%, and importantly, the deferred revenue number, up to 11.7%. You net all those together, you see once again negative net working capital for the company, minus 2.2%. So we always like to look back at the little bit of a longer-term trend here really, so you can see Roper's transformation over time.

So if we look back to five years ago, on September 30, 2013, we had an inventory of 6%, receivables of 18%, payables and accruals of 11.5%, very similar to this quarter, but deferred revenue was only 6%. So if you have access (ph) to 9/30/13 to today, you just see a massive increase in our ability to generate cash through working capital and that's seen (ph) with massively negative working capital we expect to continue. So on a deferred revenue basis, we had about $212 million of deferred revenue back in 2013, that's now up to $620 million in 2018 and we expect that number to continue to increase moving forward.

Next slide. So a slide on our strong financial position. One of our guiding principles around capital structure here at Roper is to always be opportunistic on when we access the bond market. As you know, we are committed to investment grade and we always want to make sure our leverage is at reasonable levels and we were able to go ahead and complete a bond offering in mid-August and it was really a good environment, with the 10-year treasury a little bit below 2.9%. So we completed $1.5 billion bond offering pretty closely evenly split between 5 and 10. And as part of that, we decided to go ahead and redeem our 2019 6.25% notes a little bit early. So that did resolve in a $16 million one-time debt extinguishment charge in the quarter. As we looked at that decision, (inaudible) was just very attractive versus waiting to next year in a rising interest rate environment. So we think the breakeven there was really kind of a no-brainer going ahead to do that. And so we did that and we are happy with the result of the offering.

So where we sit today now is $4.1 billion bonds that after our October 1 maturity where the bonds went over to the revolver. So now we have $4.1 billion bonds at a weighted rate of about 3.5%. So really well positioned from an interest rate cost of capital perspective moving forward. Our gross debt to EBITDA is now down to 2.8 times and notably, that's before we receive the Gatan proceeds, so when that transaction does close, it should bring us another $700 million or so of after-tax proceeds that would further reduce leverage. So we are very strategically positioned on the balance sheet and I think very, very well positioned to fund capital deployment moving forward.

So, with that, I'll turn it back over to Neil.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Rob, and let's turn to our segment detail and outlook. We can turn to our RF & Software segment. In the quarter, we saw revenue of $563 million, an increase of 14% for the quarter. Organically, revenue grew 4%. Importantly, the software businesses within the segment grew organically 6% and our Toll and Traffic, this is in line with our expectations. Operating profit grew 16% to $168 million, operating margins expanded to 29.8%, EBITDA grew 17% to $226 million, which represents a 40.1% EBITDA margin.

In the quarter, we saw continued strong performance at Deltek across its government contracting and its professional services end market in terms of its software execution. It's nice to see the continued benefits of our relative market share advantage and our superior product offering in the government contracting space leading to continued share gains. Also Deltek's professional services software offerings continued with its positive momentum with our new product VantagePoint. Finally, with Deltek, they continue to see strength with its SaaS migration strategy, driving increases in its recurring revenue.

We also saw in the quarter outstanding growth at our freight matching business, due to network expansions with increase in net subscriber adds and favorable end market conditions. With our freight match business both sides of the network scaled quite nicely in the quarter and this is a business where the size of the network and the scale of the network matters quite a bit. So, we are seeing increasing return to scale in this business. We saw double-digit Aderant growth aided by share gains. We've talked in the past about the share gains in the large law (ph) space and we continue to see those in the quarter. Also, we saw good traction with our new SaaS offering targeted at the mid law space.

PowerPlan, our acquisition we announced last quarter, also performed well in the quarter. And it was great to see SaaS wins in the adjacent end markets of manufacturing and retail. PowerPlan had on-boarded quite nicely, we talked about that last quarter. They have done a great job, becoming acclimated to our culture and to our strategy tools. We're looking forward to having our planning session with them next month and we're certainly encouraged by their SaaS migration, gaining traction as I talked about in our sale process. Also, it's important to note, really all our software businesses did well in the quarter. We just sort of ran out of space on the slide here to talk about iTrade, talk about ConstructConnect, talk about CBORD, really the entire software franchise here did quite well.

Relative to our Toll and Traffic business, the pipeline of opportunities is favorable as we head into 2019. And, with that, as we look to Q4, we see 6% to 8% organic growth in the segment. We see the software business is continuing with their consistent strong growth and cash performance and see this carrying into next year. Toll and Traffic improves, as we mentioned last quarter, based on the timing of tax shipments and easier project comps.

Turning to the next page, our Medical & Scientific Imaging segment. In this segment, which represents 29% of Roper's revenue, revenue grew 11% to $380 million. This is all organic growth. It's really fantastic performance in the segment. The Medical businesses grew 7% organically and our Scientific Imaging businesses grew, as expected, based on delivering on the backlog. Operating profit grew 15% to $133 million, operating margins expanded 140 basis points to 35%, EBITDA grew 11% to $161 million and that represents an EBITDA margin of 42.4%. We saw very solid growth across the majority of our niche application software businesses serving healthcare markets. For instance, Strata continued to gain share in its SaaS-based cost accounting and decision support applications.

SoftWriters continued to gain market share in its pharmacy operation software targeted toward institutional pharmacies and also did a nice job coupling its bolt-on products to its new customers. SHP continued core growth in its home health business and also is launching a new product targeted toward hospitals and Data Innovations continued its global market share gains, serving the middleware market.

Verathon had a tremendous quarter, growing double-digits. The demand for our new BladderScan technology was robust. We believe this is because of the core technology embedded in the product needs it to be the best product in the market. Also, North American sales execution was terrific. Their funnel management, their close rates, being fully staffed, all led, when combined with product superiority, to market share gains in the quarter. And finally, as it relates to Verathon, the GlideScope business recurring revenue was quite strong. This is a result of a very large global installed base of our video laryngoscope systems and the recurring consumables being pulled through that installed base. For Verathon, this is one of many examples of Roper where the management team there is building this business for the long term, and we expect to see this momentum carry into 2019. So, really a great job by Earl and the team in Seattle.

Northern Digital grew on the continued adoption of its proprietary electromagnetic measurement technology. We often don't highlight many of our specific medical technologies, but NDI and their EM technology is really a great example of our innovation. As we look to Q4, we see 5% to 6% organic growth for this segment. We see mid single digit growth for the medical businesses and the Gatan divestiture is expected to close by the end of 2018 and is on track.

Next page. Our industrial segment, which is 17% of Roper's Technology (ph) grew 15% to $230 million. Obviously, this is all organic growth. Operating profit grew 19% to $74 million, operating profit margin grew 120 basis points to 32.3%, EBITDA grew 18% to $78 million, which represents a 34.2% EBITDA margin. In the segment, we saw double-digit growth again at Neptune, which is driven by continued share gains. Really what's happening in Neptune is, we see many customer networks form and we combine that dynamic with our strong channel management, it's really those two things that are yielding our continual share increases. In the quarter, we also saw strong fluid handling growth across multiple end markets and applications. Roper Pump and Cornell Pump continued their share gains and were also aided by favorable end market conditions. For the outlook for Q4, we see mid single organic growth with strong leverage as we saw this quarter and the end markets continue to remain favorable. The teams and our reviews for the quarter are quite optimistic heading into Q4 and heading into 2019.

Turning to our Energy segment. In this segment, which represents a 11% of our revenue, we saw revenue grow to $149 million, plus 10%, 11% organically, with 1 point of FX headwind. Operating profit grew 27% to $46 million. Operating profit margin grew 420 basis points to 31.1% and EBITDA grew 23% to $50 million. This represents an EBITDA margin of 33.6% and the OP leverage was 73%, just stunning in the quarter. We saw double-digit CCC growth from a rebound of new construction projects. The team at CCC over the course of the past couple of years really worked hard to position the business and its products to capture the opportunities when the rebound occurred and we're seeing exactly that happen. As we see many new LNG facilities and projects come online next year, CCC is specified in the vast majority, if not all of those projects. So it's a very good job by the team there.

We also saw strong growth in our upstream applications and broad-based growth across our industrial end markets. I remind you, the industrial businesses we have here did really well, really all of them did and it's really a collection of niche leading test and measurement businesses that looked at rubber testing, polymer testing, vibration monitoring, et cetera. The teams across the board here did very nice. As we turn into look to Q4 of 2018. We also see mid single-digit organic growth with strong leverage and our markets remain favorable, and the teams also are optimistic for the quarter heading into next year.

Now let's turn to our guidance update. We're raising our full year 2018 guidance. Our adjusted DEPS is now going to look in the range of $11.69 to $11.73, where we are previously at $11.40 to $11.56. This represents organic revenue growth of at least 7% for the full-year basis. We are also establishing our Q4 2018 guidance with adjusted DEPS of $3.10 to $3.14, as Rob noted earlier, a tax rate of 23%, which is slightly higher than the rate we saw in the current quarter.

Now let's turn to the Q3 summary. Our asset-light diversified niche market strategy continues to produce outstanding results. We saw 9% organic revenue growth and it was broad-based across all four of our segments. We had record gross margin expansion of 80 basis points to 63.8% and all of that plus some carry-down to EBITDA margins, growing 100 basis points to 35.8%. It's really a testament to our niche strategy, the intimacy our businesses have with our customers, and our ability to nimbly execute through various market conditions and deliver fantastic financial results.

Our operating and EBITDA margins expanded in all four segments and free cash flow increased 34%, which is 31% of revenue. Also, and importantly, we are strategically well-positioned for continued capital deployment. First, we have a very strong balance sheet and our bond offering captured favorable fixed rates. Next, our pending and on schedule Gatan divestiture will further enhance our acquisition powder. And to that end, our acquisition pipeline is quite robust as we finish the year and head into 2019. Finally, our proven business model and our CRI discipline drives the ability to compound cash flow and there's no better example of that than this quarter. As we look to Q4, we have a positive outlook and we see that carrying into 2019.

Next page. And just before turning to your questions, we wanted to briefly highlight the key tenets of our strategy. This strategy has proven successful for 15 years and this is the strategy fully embraced by our team, by our Board, and by myself. I want to highlight three things about our strategy.

First, is the business type that comprises our portfolio. Our businesses are in niches. They are clear leaders in their niches. We often have a high percentage of the revenue recurring, which provides stability. We also have the ability to compete on customer intimacy, not on scale. This is a very important point, which I will come through in a moment. We always have view that high gross margins are indicative of the value that our companies deliver to our customers and all of our companies have the ability to grow without consuming capital.

The second part of our strategy that I want to highlight is the operating structure, which deploy, which many of you know, is a decentralized structure. This structure works based on the profile of the businesses that we have. When you're in a niche, you need to nimbly execute and this structure allows us to do so. Local decisions are made about resource allocations at our business units. But importantly, just because we're decentralized does not mean that we're passive owners. We care deeply about strategic development and strategic execution and the team is building talent throughout their organizations. And we do that by deploying a set of group executives that use a socratic method to teach what great looks like across the businesses. And finally, relative to our structure, is our incentive system. The core to our incentive system is that we reward based on growth. Simply stated, this allows there to be a complete alignment throughout the organization about what's important here and also for trust to be pervasive through the organization.

And finally, the third thing I would like to highlight is our centralized capital deployment strategy. As decentralized as we are from an operating structure perspective, we are equal but oppositely centralized in the way we deploy capital. This allows us to take all the excess free cash flow from all the businesses and deploy them in a way that is optimal for our shareholders. We do this by deploying our cash return methodology, which allows us to select the best businesses to add to the portfolio and this allows our strategy to be centered on finding amazing business models versus having an end market-oriented strategy. The way we deploy capital is highly process-driven using the CRI approach, using an approach to evaluate management teams and using an approach to make sure that the businesses that we select to join the portfolio match all the ones we've talked about before.

And finally, what sits underneath all three of these tenets are three core values. One is, throughout the organization is, trust and mutual respect. I fully believe this is an organization where bad news travels faster than good and I view that as a core value that makes us a wonderful place. Second, is our cash return on investment methodology. This is not just used to deploy capital, but used in all of our businesses, about how to optimally grow. And finally, we work very hard to keep things very simple. As we grow, the risk is the complexity creeps in, and we view it as our core job to make sure that we keep things very simple. So, in conclusion, this strategy is everything we've been doing for the last 15 years and it will be consistent for the next 15 years.

And, with that, we'll open it up for questions.

Operator

Thank you. We will now go to our question-and-answer portion of the call. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Deane Dray with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Deane Dray -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning, everyone.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Deane.

Deane Dray -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, this is our first opportunity, Neil, to congratulate you on taking the helm. And also, congrats to Rob on his promotion and I like that closing comment reaffirming what's unique about the Roper business model. So that was all good to hear. So my first question is, since it's such a big focus area across the industrials and you kind of downplayed the issue in your opening comments, but can you talk about any areas of input cost challenges that are unique to Roper? We heard that tariffs are a non-factor, but there have to be some input cost pressures and maybe some indirect tariff pressures as well. But how would you describe that?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, so it's Neil. I'll take a shot at this and then Rob can add any color. Let's talk about tariffs first and we can really talk about tariffs and the inflation together. It's important to note that none of our businesses compete on scale, right. We have these -- these are very small, nimbly oriented businesses that compete based on how quickly they can answer customers' needs. As you know, our businesses are not gigantic. So, as a result, the supply chains are very nimble and the management team's ability to execute through a tariff issue with either slightly rebalancing the supply chain or working through a pricing increase or pricing policy to offset that, we saw that in the quarter, we see that carrying into Q4 and into next year, is really a very, very small impact in Q3 and Q4. And the same can be said for input costs. As you look at our gross margins, there is just very little material that goes into what we do. And so what is there is very minimal and that's our view, there's not much of an impact.

Deane Dray -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Great. And then, if we -- could you comment more on the funnel as it stands today, potential size, and timing? And, in your response, you talked about what does add market volatility, a downdraft typically do to bid ask spreads? My experience has been sellers get awfully sticky with their memories of where their multiples traded higher, but just what is your expectations here?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So, the funnel, as we talked about is quite robust, but candidly, it's always robust. We just see a tremendous number of opportunities and we're oftentimes just vetting through the opportunities and there might be an attractive opportunity that we pass on because we think there's something that's more attractive that's going to come in the future. So we continue to be very disciplined, but then that discipline is only outmatched by our patience to do what's right for the long-term relative to the M&A funnel. But as it sits right now, it's quite robust and the teams are working hard to mature that. So it's always difficult to time or predict the timing of deals because we're just going to do what's right in the long term for our shareholders. Relative to sizing, Rob talked about the strength of our balance sheet. We've talked in the past about $7 billion over a four-year period. That's just the way the math works out, but we've never -- we don't feel and never have felt pressure or a budget to try to allocate capital, or deploy capital in any specific small window of time and that remains consistent.

Relative to, if you will, the valuations between private and public companies, it's something that we'll watch carefully. I do think public companies get mark-to-market everyday, private companies don't. There typically is a little bit of a lag to the extent there is a long-term D rating of public companies. It does take a quarter or two, perhaps a little bit longer for private companies to sort of realize that's where the market is, but at the same time, these funds are always raising money, and they have to return money to capital and so that oftentimes offsets that stickiness, if you will. So it's not something that we view as any sort of material challenge to us to deploy capital going forward.

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I would just add to that, Deane. From a target size perspective, as we've said in the past, most of the targets that we're going after they appear in that kind of north of, call it, $400 million enterprise value, up well over $1 billion. I mean, that tend to be kind of the sweet spot for the sort of things that we acquire given our size and given sort of the type of businesses that we are targeting and I think most of the things in the pipeline are going to be in that general range.

Deane Dray -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you and congrats, again.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Steve Tusa from JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Hi, guys, good morning.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Nice results, and just wanted to publicly say obviously we all appreciate Brian and how unbelievable of a run that he had with this company and wishing you, Neil, the best of luck in your new role and congratulations.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you, and I'll remind you and everybody, Brian is our Executive Chairman, still involves with the business in that capacity.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Yes. So just on this deferred revenue point. I mean, how fast kind of organically does that tend to kind of grow and could you just -- I'm clearly not a software analyst. Just want to kind of better understand how that works and kind of the dynamics into the kind of intermediate term. What is driving that and how fast do you expect that to grow as maybe kind of as a percentage of revenues or something like that?

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So it would generally grow in line with the organic growth of the software company. Sometimes, if you're moving through sort of a change more toward Saas where some of our businesses are, I think it could go up a little bit faster. There's a little bit of seasonality with it as well. So a lot of the renewals do happen in the fourth quarter. So probably generally assume that deferred revenue gets better in the fourth quarter and then, might -- after that going into next year, really depends on the quarters and sort of when the renewal happen. Many of these businesses, we are getting a full year's worth of revenue in advance and that's really what drives deferred revenue number.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

And when you acquire a company, does that -- that's obviously reflected in that number or is there some acquisition kind of mechanics where that is, I don't know, defined differently or there is like a step up or something like that? Does that number just go -- whenever deferred revenue they had on the balance sheet, that kind of goes into your deferred revenue number, how does that work?

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So, a purchase accounting requires you take a haircut on deferred revenue of what you acquire. So, you'll generally add less than sort of the normal deferred revenue on day one and then that builds up over the next year. If you know exactly what adjustment that we make that hit the revenue line, our adjusted revenue, that's just adding back that accounting based movement on the revenue where you are actually getting all the costs from the business, but you can't recognize some of the revenue from a GAAP standpoint. So that's where you see the haircut. So you will generally see more deferred revenue growth sort of in the first year of ownership than other years.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay. That's a great reminder. One last quick one. How fast did Sunquest grow in the quarter?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So, Sunquest, the core North American business, continued its mid single digits decline for the reasons we've talked about in the past. The global part of the business and the CliniSys piece, the DI piece and the global part of Sunquest grew as we also indicated in the past couple of quarters. So the story relative to Sunquest is the same in terms of sort of rebasing the North American business and looking forward to getting with the team in the next -- actually Monday and Tuesday next week in Tucson to go through their three year strategic roadmap.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

And will that grow in 2019, US core?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think it will continue to be down -- US core will continue to be down in 2019.

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So that (inaudible) business is that. Yeah. See, the Acute Care software we talked about, that grew low single digit organically inclusive of the talk about (ph) decline.

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thanks for all the color and for the accounting tutorial. Appreciate it.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Scott Davis from Melius Research. Please go ahead.

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

Hi, good morning, guys.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, good morning, Scott.

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

Couple of questions for you, but, one, just to start with Neptune. I don't remember a time period where Neptune was this strong. I know it's lumpy, but it seems like you've got some confidence going forward. I mean, you said you -- made a comment about customer networks being formed, love to get a little bit more color on that. It's not an area that we spent a lot of time on, but more explicitly, why are customers picking Neptune? I mean, understandingly is that the technologies offered among the major three players are pretty similar, so why are you guys winning in this market?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, we would beg to differ that the products are similar and I think the market share gains would demonstrate that customers are voting that way. We've talked in the past, it's principally or one of the principal elements is that, as the customers have been on the journey of migrating from non-network to the networked meters and on the network journey from mobile to fixed networks, many, many years ago the Neptune product strategy was to allow all that to be backwards compatible. And so, as the customers in a -- a customer, any region with a network of meters, they sort of planned that migration over a series of years, not in big burst events and the backward compatibility has enabled this market share shift to happen because that we -- the customers don't have to abandon their historical investment. That's been a key tenet to the market share shift and when we talk about, I talk about the many network effect that's happening at a local customer level.

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And then to follow on a little bit on Steve's question, I mean, Sunquest, the beauty of Sunquest is, you didn't pay much for it. The downside is, the outlook I think when you bought it, you knew it wasn't going to grow much, but in your deal model, did you have it? At some point hitting a declining growth profile, I mean, I think you only paid like 12 times EBITDA for it, which is pretty low for this type of a business.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think, it was more like 10 times is what we paid for it. So we, as a group, it's worth just reemphasizing, as a group of Acute Care software assets, they are growing and we see that continuing. If you peel apart, we're talking about a part of a group and a part of the business that we're talking about, which is a North American Sunquest business. And so certainly, in our deal model, we didn't model that it was going to go back mid single digits. We had it flat to up lows. And going back over history right when we bought it, there was a meaningful use, tailwind that drove sort of outsized one-time growth over the course of 12 to 18 months, then we had to lap over that. And then we're here with this pressure, competitive pressure in the North American market that we've been experiencing this year, a little bit last year, and we will continue to experience in the next year.

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

I guess, a different way to ask the question is, is it -- are you on the deal model then? Do you look at it that way, even though it's been a while?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

This was -- it's been so many years.

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. We added a number of acquisitions to it, but you wouldn't add in the initial model and those of our outlook, so it's been overall a very good platform for us.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think it was acquired in 2012, so about six years ago.

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

Yeah. I know, but there has been a lot of noise around it obviously, but -- and a lot of skeptics, and I suspect, at the time, that was in the purchase price, but this is kind of the point I was trying to get to, but anyways, I'll pass it on. Thank you, guys.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Julian Mitchell from Barclays. Please go ahead.

Julian Mitchell -- Barclays -- Analyst

Hi, good morning, and congratulations to Neil and Rob. In terms of my first question, just wanted to circle back to the industrial revenue growth outlook. Wonder if it was just conservatism whereby you do have that steep slowdown in the core growth dialed in and maybe allied to that, if you could give any color on the order trends or book to bill rates in recent weeks?

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So for the industrial segment, the mid-single organic guidance for Q4 is exactly consistent with what we said three months ago when we saw how the year would play out. Neptune as we've spoken a little bit about on the call is by far the largest business segment and they had sort of an usually strong Q4 from a seasonality standpoint last year. They -- generally there is, in that business, seasonality where Q4 is layered in Q3. And last year, for various factors, there really wasn't any sort of a sequential down to Q3 and Q4 and we see more normal seasonality this year. That's a big driver of it.

I'd say that the order trends across the industrial and the energy businesses, which is really the only places it really can give you any insight here, I mean, at Roper given so much software, but these businesses we do, of course, look at the orders on an individual business basis and I would say, they are very supportive, up mid single digit organic and they are certainly optimistic in moving forward into next year. But we feel really good about the guide. I would say, on the energy businesses, from a seasonality standpoint, we're probably assuming a little bit less than normal Q4 uptick in terms of seasonality for the energy businesses. We just think that's prudent that some of that stuff, upgrade visibility into, so we're assuming a little bit less than what is normal. So it could be better than that, but who knows.

Julian Mitchell -- Barclays -- Analyst

Makes sense. Thank you. And then, just wanted to circle back to RF and PowerPlan. Just remind us what kind of organic growth that business is delivering right now and whether that earnings accretion number for the second half, I think, you talked about $0.12 or $0.13 last time, how you're tracking relative to that?

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. We're on track, it's a mid-to-high single-digit organic growth business is what we said coming in and it's certainly on track for that. It is performing as we expected. I think that the team has done a really nice job of quickly getting up to sort of the Roper processes and we had a great quarterly call with them last week and I think we feel really good about the trends in that business.

Julian Mitchell -- Barclays -- Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Richard Eastman, Robert W. Baird. Please go ahead.

Richard Eastman -- Robert W. Baird -- Analyst

Yes, good morning. Just -- very quickly just to stay on RF Tech, just a couple of questions. I presume from kind of weeding out the pieces here, the tolling and traffic was flattish in the quarter, but you did mention a number of pipeline opportunities there. I'm curious, are those opportunities or backlog -- does the backlog at toll and traffic provide any kind of insight into possible low single digit or mid single digit growth for 2019?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, so you're right in the quarter on the business being flattish and again it's in line with our expectations. And I think the pipeline as it sits today now, it's big, it's robust, and we are knocking about 100% against that pipeline. But if it falls as it does historically, then we would see sort of a low single digit, possibly a little bit better as we head into 2019 with that business.

Richard Eastman -- Robert W. Baird -- Analyst

Okay. And then just the other piece of this, the application software where we've kind of spoken to Deltek and Aderant, sound like really good growth rates, but when you look at the software businesses, the app software businesses combined, and you see this kind of 6% growth rate combined, what's your feeling on that from a cyclical standpoint? I know this is -- there's a lot of recurring revenue in there, but again you're selling to legal firms and Deltek sells into the government market where there's some pacing of spend? Is the 6% number for that piece of the business running maybe a couple points hot relative to a cyclical growth rate for your app software businesses?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We view these businesses to be very consistent grower, so very little if any cyclicality associated with them. The DoubleClick, for instance, with Deltek, I can certainly understand that the concept that as government spending goes, so it's spending on these systems. But over history, that's not the case. Because what happens, the government contractors flow to where the money is and it's always money being spent. And so that drives the need for them to have the software to drive the compliance in their operations, for instance. So we view these as consistent and non-cyclical businesses going forward.

Richard Eastman -- Robert W. Baird -- Analyst

Okay, very good. Thank you.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Joseph Giordano of Cowen & Company. Please go ahead.

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Hey, good morning guys.

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

So, on RF Tech, if we just assume like for sake of argument that we stopped doing M&A and the deals that you've done kind of start flowing, would the normalized dropdown of that segment be materially higher than what we're seeing now? I mean, I think just feel like the stuff we've added over the last couple of years, the characteristics of those businesses are a lot different than what has been in there historically. So, like how would you think about what that normalized dropdown ex the impact of like the upfront cost of acquisitions?

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So are you talking sort of from a leverage standpoint on the incremental growth?

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Yes.

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So the software businesses generally have EBITDA margins 40% plus and the toll and traffic, as you know, is lower than that. So, right, as these businesses grow, they should produce leverage 40% plus, quite a little bit better than that. (multiple speakers) less leverage on toll and traffic business, so better leverage as we move toward software and less cyclicality of course and lot more recurring revenue and better growth.

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Yeah. Okay, that's the point I was getting at. Okay. Is Neptune facing any issues currently with like sourcing of electronic components? We've heard a little bit about that on the cost side from some of the players in that space. I was just curious if it's anything that you guys are seeing there?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

There is pockets of that as we did our reviews really over the course of the last several quarters, not unique to this quarter. And I think it goes again to the nimbleness of the supply chains of these businesses to the extent there is an issue. Very rarely are we sole source supply, because again we're not buying things in massive scale. So we can shift production or shift the supply chain where it's needed, but we have seen, as I mentioned, in some pockets, some component shortages, electronic component shortages.

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Okay. And then just last from me kind of more of a conceptual one. Neil, how do you see, just in terms of style, I know you're going to have the core fundamental beliefs of Roper are going to remain the same and as you go by your business, but stylistically, anything that you are bringing different to the environment there or maybe how you take input from people or you have a different amount of people around you? Just maybe talk about how you plan on running things versus how it's been?

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So I appreciate the question. I view it to be very -- I mean, the strategy is the same, the structure is the same. The way we deploy capital in the process, rigor around that is the same. Stylistically, Brian and I certainly are different people with modestly different styles. I think both have been accepted by the organization. I think me having grown up here as a Group Executive in the trenches across the medical businesses and the application software businesses, as I sort of look to the next several years, it's trying to bring a little bit of process -- a little bit more process rigor about how the companies in the field develop strategy, how we get very focused on how to deploy that strategy and then also how the teams build the talent and build the talent offense within their teams. So it's less stylistically, but more having just grown up in the trenches here where Brian has always been the CEO from the day he started, is maybe a little bit different perspective of our lens which I will look through for the next few years.

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Good color. Thanks, guys.

Operator

That will end our question-and-answer session for this call. We now return back to Zack Moxcey for closing remarks.

Zack Moxcey -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Thank you, everyone, for joining us today and we look forward to speaking with you during our next earnings call.

Operator

That will conclude today's conference call. Thank you for your participation. Ladies and gentlemen, you may now disconnect.

Duration: 50 minutes

Call participants:

Zack Moxcey -- Vice President, Investor Relations

L. Neil Hunn -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Crisci -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Deane Dray -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Steve Tusa -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Scott Davis -- Melius Research -- Analyst

Julian Mitchell -- Barclays -- Analyst

Richard Eastman -- Robert W. Baird -- Analyst

Joseph Giordano -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

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