PPD sees 30% fourth-quarter revenue jump, beats estimates


After withdrawing its full-year guidance back in the first quarter as it, like so many other CROs, was hit by pandemic chaos, PPD saw its revenue jump this quarter.

In the fourth quarter, income leapt 30.3% to $1.36 billion, compared to $1.04 billion for the last fourth quarter. This was boosted by two main areas: its clinical development services, making $1.1 billion, up 28.3% on the year-ago period, and its laboratory services, up 40.1% to $254.2 million.

For the fourth quarter, earnings per share increased 18.18% over the past year to $0.39, which beat the estimate of $0.36, whilst revenue beat out the $1.28 billion estimate.

RELATED: PPD expands lab test work to boost pandemic vaccine, drug trial research

Despite some tough quarters, notably the second, and echoing the trend across the contract research industry, PPD has bounced back for the year, raking in $4.68 billion, up 16.1% on 2019’s figures.

After yanking its full-year guidance last year, PPD is more confident now, eyeing a low of $5.14 billion to a high of $5.3 billion in sales. It’s also been heavily involved in running vaccine trials for COVID-19, including Moderna and the National Institutes of Health’s tests for the biotech’s mRNA vaccine, which has been given emergency use status in the U.S. and U.K.

“PPD’s talent and culture have been instrumental to our success,” said David Simmons, PPD’s chairman and CEO. “The challenges of the pandemic put a spotlight on our people, differentiated capabilities and therapeutic expertise, and PPD excelled in that spotlight.

“Not only have we played a key role in developing vaccines and therapeutics to prevent and treat COVID-19, but our unwavering commitment to study continuity and deployment of innovative solutions in this dynamic environment produced outstanding financial results.

“As we add another year of double-digit growth to our long track record of strong performance, we are very well positioned for 2021.”

The company went public, again, a year ago, raising a massive $1.62 billion for its IPO; shares in the CRO were, however, flat Tuesday on its financials.