Rollins (NYSE:ROL) reported fourth-quarter financial results on Jan. 24. The pest control specialist delivered solid increases in revenue and profits, prompting its board of directors to boost its cash payout to investors.

Rollins' results: The raw numbers


Q4 2017

Q4 2016

Year-Over-Year Change


$414.7 million

$385.6 million


Adjusted net income

$45.3 million

$38 million


Adjusted EPS




Data source: Rollins' Q4 2017 earnings press release. Earnings per share = EPS.

What happened with Rollins this quarter?

Revenue rose 7.5% year over year to $414.7 million, with 4% coming from price increases and organic growth, and the remaining 3.5% from acquisitions.

"Our strong balance sheet has allowed us to continue to make strategic acquisitions," CEO Gary Rollins said in a press release. "Northwest Exterminating has been a great addition to our company and we are extremely pleased with the contributions that they have made to our revenues and profits."

All of Rollins' core business lines enjoyed solid growth. Residential pest control revenue increased 6.9%, commercial pest control sales grew 5%, and termite revenue jumped 15.6%.

In addition, the company's recently deployed BOSS branch operating system is helping to reduce costs, as explained by COO John Wilson during a conference call with analysts:

This routing and scheduling tool has improved our miles driven which helps to offset any increase in fuel prices and vehicle-related costs. Our results today show reduction of average miles per stock by half mile.  

This may not sound like much until you multiply that by the more than 880,000 unique customer visits we perform each month. The 440,000 miles [saved] both reduces wear and tear on our vehicles and saves our technicians thousands of hours of drive time. This effort also contributes to reduced accidents and lower employee turnover. 

But most importantly, it improves our customer experience through better on-time service performance and living up to our promise of being there when we say we will be there.

All told, net income -- adjusted to exclude items related to recent tax law changes -- leapt 19.2% to $45.3 million, or $0.21 per share.

A businessperson handing out cash

Rollins' investors have more cash heading their way. Image source: Getty Images.

Looking forward

Thanks to tax reform, Rollins expects to pay significantly fewer taxes in 2018. Management said that its new tax rate would be in the "mid-20s," down from its historical rate of 37%.

This likely impacted Rollins' decision to boost its quarterly cash dividend by 21.7%. The increase marks the 16th consecutive year that Rollins has raised its dividend by at least 12% -- and its largest percent increase since 2010.

"We are pleased to have delivered solid financial results for the fourth quarter and for the year," Rollins said. "These results reflect the underlying strength of our business and our initiatives that have benefited our customers, employees, and shareholders."

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