PRA narrows its sales guidance on the way to a record year

PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH) posted another quarter of revenue growth but is narrowing its full-year sales projection.

The North Carolina-headquartered CRO reported $345.1 million in revenue in the third quarter, an 8% increase over the same period last year. Accounting for the impact of foreign currency headwinds, revenue grew 12% year over year, the company said. And PRA's profits skyrocketed on the quarter, coming in at $23.7 million compared with the $1.2 million the company cleared in the third quarter of 2014.

PRA's net new business amounted to $431.4 million on the quarter, representing a book-to-bill ratio of 1.25 and adding to a $2.3 billion backlog.

Despite the growth, PRA is narrowing its 2015 revenue guidance, lowering the high end by about 1.5% and lifting the low end by roughly 1.8% as it expects to book around $1.4 billion in annual sales. The CRO raised its earnings-per-share expectation to between $1 and $1.05 from a range of 80 cents to 90 cents.

PRA's continued growth is the result of a continued global expansion, the company said, as the CRO has steadily increased its market share since going public last year.

PRA CEO Colin Shannon

"Our key financial metrics have continued to improve, as evidenced by our new business wins, our revenue growth and our expanding margins," CEO Colin Shannon said in a statement. "Our strong financial performance is a reflection of the exceptional service we provide to our customers, and the continued efforts of our employees."

PRA is a CRO conglomerate pieced together by private equity firm KKR ($KKR), which acquired the titular company for $1.3 billion in 2013 before buying up smaller competitors and merging the lot.

In October, the company announced plans to add about 250 jobs over the next few years as it completes a new $4 million project in Pennsylvania, and PRA is in the process of recruiting clinical research associates around the country as it looks to take a larger share of the CRO market.

- read the results

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