Parexel trims its ambitions after a flat quarter

Parexel CEO Josef von Rickenbach

CRO giant Parexel ($PRXL) posted flat revenue last quarter, paring back its full-year expectations in the face of currency headwinds and client delays.

The company's total revenue came in at $576.4 million on the quarter, just about equal to the same period last year, as a strong dollar and decline in reimbursements negated 2% growth in sales. The CRO's banner clinical research services segment grew 3% to $384 million, while its informatics business jumped 5% and its consulting operation fell more than 9%.

That slip in consulting is due to delays to projects that have since started to ramp up, Parexel CEO Josef von Rickenbach said, and the company expects to make up ground this quarter, the fourth of its fiscal year.

"We expect revenue growth to improve on a sequential basis in the fourth quarter, as multiple projects begin to migrate out of start-up and into higher revenue generating stages," von Rickenbach said. "We anticipate that the increased headcount will help us to achieve our goals in the fourth quarter and beyond."

In the meantime, however, the CRO is dialing down its 12-month revenue guidance by about 2% at midpoint, expecting roughly $2 billion for the fiscal year.

Parexel wrapped last quarter with a $5.2 billion backlog, 5% larger than in the same period last year, and posted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.3.

- read the results

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