After soaring 20% in 2013, Icon eyes a bigger share of the CRO market

Icon ($ICLR) watched its revenue swell by 20% last year, and now the Irish CRO is expecting a healthy rate of new business wins to fuel growth in 2014.

The company's full-year revenue came in at $1.3 billion in 2013, outstripping the prior year's $1.1 billion, and net income leapt about 86% to $102.8 million. And capping off that stellar performance was a strong fourth quarter, in which Icon's revenue jumped 15% to $345 million and its profits soared 62% to $33.5 million.

Now, after closing out Q4 with $446 million of net new business and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.29, Icon is expecting to keep the things moving in the new year. The CRO figures it'll make between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion in revenue in 2014, good for up to 10% growth, and Icon is projecting earnings per share from $2.05 to $2.20, which would represent a 24% year-over-year increase at the high end.

Over the past year, Icon has poured money and effort into its infrastructure, expanding its capabilities in adaptive trial monitoring and spending $52 million to snag Cross Country Healthcare's functional service business. 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.

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