Quintiles notches its first-ever $1B quarter as sales boom

Quintiles CEO Tom Pike

It pays to be the world's largest CRO. Capping off a year in which it raised nearly $950 million in an up-sized IPO, Quintiles hauled in $1 billion in service revenue in the fourth quarter, a company first that sets the table for more growth in 2014.

Sales jumped about 6.2% to hit the $1 billion mark, driven by a 10.2% increase in Quintiles' product development business, which brought in $775 million. The smaller integrated healthcare division slipped 5.7% to $228.9 million, but a 12.7% jump in reimbursed expenses more than compensated, bringing Quintiles' total quarterly revenue to about $1.4 billion. And the CRO's net income more than doubled, reaching $72.9 million on the quarter.

For the full year, service revenue hit $3.8 billion, a 3.1% jump over 2012, as 7.4% growth in product development outweighed a 7.8% dip in integrated healthcare. Profits increased about 27.7% to $226.6 million on the year.

Now, Quintiles is expecting service revenue to come in between $4.1 billion and $4.2 billion in 2014, amounting to as much as 9% growth, and the company is forecasting earnings from $2.33 to $2.46 per share, good for a leap of up to 17.1%.

To get there, Quintiles will need to maintain its pace of global expansion, and closing out the quarter with net new business wins of $1.3 billion and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.29 is a step in the right direction, CEO Tom Pike said.

"We enter 2014 positioned for growth with our strong 2013 performance," Pike said in a statement. "2013 was a year of entry into the public markets punctuated by the strength of our leadership, customer relationships, deepening scientific and therapeutic expertise, and enhanced data and analytics capabilities, all coupled with predictable service delivery. … We continue to see strong demand across all clinical phases of the pipeline with a greater interest in end-to-end integrated solutions underpinned with data analytics."

- read the results

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