Icon cranks up its 2014 expectations after another leap

CRO Icon ($ICLR) posted another double-digit revenue jump in its fiscal first quarter, and now the Irish outfit is upping its annual guidance, counting on M&A and an expanding market share to pad its profits.

Icon's revenue grew 10% to $349.6 million on the quarter, and net income soared 63% to $36 million. The CRO pulled in $427 million in net new business wins and closed the quarter with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.22, laying a solid foundation for the rest of fiscal 2014, CEO Ciaran Murray said.

Now, Icon is increasing its full-year expectations by about 7%, expecting roughly $1.5 billion in 2014 for 18% annual growth.

The CRO expects some of that new revenue to stem from its buyout of Aptiv Solutions, an adaptive trials-focused outfit Icon picked up for $143.5 million last month. Icon has been deepening its offerings in adaptive trials over the past year, unveiling service platforms that allow sponsors to monitor safety issues, keep tabs on sites and track and visualize efficacy trends all in real time.

Icon has also poured money and effort into its infrastructure, spending $52 million to snag Cross Country Healthcare's functional service business last year. Those efforts have paid off, as the company has posted quarter after quarter of revenue growth since ditching the Irish Stock Exchange and making its way to the Nasdaq in 2012.

- read the results

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The money will be used to expand its footprint in both China and the U.S., including a new R&D operation in Boston.