Covance soars on 60% income growth in Q4

Covance ($CVD) pulled in $33.9 million in net income last quarter, good for a 60.3% increase over the prior year, and a boom in late-stage development deals pushed revenue up 5.6% to $562.2 million.

The New Jersey CRO posted 15.7% growth in its late-stage unit, netting $344.8 million from its central laboratory, Phase IIb-IV clinical development and market access services. That helped to offset a continuing decline for Covance's early-stage business, which dropped 7.3% to $217.4 million.

Covance blames a slumping demand for toxicology, discovery support and clinical pharmacology, and the closure of early-stage sites contributed to a $2.9 million charge in the quarter.

Those divestitures are all part of the CRO's plan to stay in the black, CEO Joe Herring said in a statement, as Covance continues to reduce its preclinical capacity and focuses on areas with stronger demand, like IT and clinical development.

Looking ahead this year, Covance is projecting mid- to high-single-digit revenue growth and earnings between $2.85 and $3.15, while analysts have predicted 2013 EPS at about $2.96.

- read Covance's results

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