PRA boosts its profit forecast after a strong sales quarter

PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH) is ticking up its full-year expectations after another quarter of revenue growth, counting on a steady stream of new business.

The CRO cleared $336.5 million in the second quarter, 8% year-over-year growth at actual exchange rates and a 12% increase on a constant-currency basis. Net income came in at $12.4 million on the quarter, more than quadrupling what PRA pulled in in the same period last year.

PRA signed $407.8 million worth of new deals in Q2, making for a 1.21 book-to-bill ratio and a backlog of $2.3 billion as of June 30.

Now the CRO is raising its profit guidance by about 13% at midpoint, expecting between 80 cents and 90 cents per share for the full year. PRA's 2015 revenue projection, between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion, remains unchanged.

The quarter extends a streak of growth for the North Carolina-headquartered CRO following its 2014 IPO.

"We have expanded our operating margin, achieved significant growth in our earnings, generated solid cash flow from operations, which has allowed us to reduce our debt levels, and also delivered strong new business wins," CEO Colin Shannon said in a statement.

Today's PRA came to be thanks to KKR ($KKR), which won a bidding war and picked up the CRO for $1.3 billion in 2013. A few months later, KKR paid an undisclosed sum for ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and merged its two acquisitions. By year's end, the company had acquired CRI Lifetree to bolster its piecemeal CRO's early-stage capabilities, completing KKR's buy-and-merge plan.

- read the results

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