Shares of pharmaceutical services company INC Research rose 7 percent Tuesday after the company reported robust fourth-quarter results and projected that its growth will continue to outpace the overall market this year.
The Raleigh-based company “has strong momentum following its first quarter as a public company,” Wells Fargo analyst Tim Evans wrote in a research note. He added that INC’s fourth-quarter revenue, earnings per share and bookings exceeded Wall Street’s consensus expectations.
Raleigh-based INC went public in November at $18 per share. The company’s shares closed Tuesday at $27.93, up $1.94 for the day and 55 percent higher than its initial public offering price.
Revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $213.7 million, up 23 percent. Analysts were projecting $208 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
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Adjusted net income – which excludes, among other things, $47 million in one-time expenses and $33 million in amortization expense – was $15.2 million, or 26 cents per share. Analysts had projected 21 cents per share.
Net income, based on generally accepted accounting principles, was a loss of $49.8 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with a loss of $13 million a year earlier.
“2014 has been a great year for INC Research,” CEO Jamie Macdonald said during a conference call with analysts. “We continued to strengthen our position in the market as a leading CRO.”
CROs, or contract research organizations, help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies conduct clinical trials of experimental drugs and analyze the results.
The company reported $316.3 million in net new business awards in the fourth quarter, up 11 percent from a year ago.
“Ninety-two percent of our new business awards was from repeat customers,” Macdonald said. “This highlights our success in delivering high-quality work for our clients.”
For all of 2014, INC posted revenue of $809.7 million, up 23 percent from 2013. Adjusted net income was $44.6 million, or 83 cents per share, up from $16.3 million a year earlier.
That growth boosted INC’s global workforce from roughly 4,900 to 5,600 during the year. That includes nearly 900 employees in Raleigh, up 125 from a year ago.
INC’s guidance for 2015 calls for revenue of between $870 million and $900 million and adjusted earnings per share of between $1.00 and $1.29.
Greg Rush, chief financial officer, said in an interview that revenue guidance would be $30 million higher if not for anticipated fluctuations in currency.