WuXi posts another big quarter as it faces a big decision

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX), China's largest CRO, again boosted its revenue by double digits last quarter, keeping the pace of growth as it considers an offer to go private.

The CRO's net revenue jumped 22.7% year-over-year to $180 million, driven by 20.6% growth in its lab services business, a 14.8% increase in small-molecule manufacturing and a 74.6% leap in its recently launched biologics operation. WuXi's net income slipped 0.2% on the quarter, however, a decline the company blames on increased operating expenses tied to joint ventures and the impact of a strong dollar.

WuXi is leaving its full-year revenue guidance intact, expecting between $790 million and $800 million in 2015. Last year, the company grew revenue 16.6% to $674.3 million, driven by a 14.2% leap in its lab services business and a 23.8% increase in manufacturing dollars.

Now, thanks to a slew of buyouts and transcontinental partnerships, WuXi is betting it can differentiate itself as a value-adding partner for global R&D, not just a box-checking contractor, CEO Ge Li said.

"Our success over the past 14-plus years has come from aggressively investing where we see significant market opportunities and favorable trends," Li said in a statement. "Today we continue to make aggressive investments in exciting new areas such as genomics and bioinformatics, mobile technologies, and China healthcare initiatives. We are encouraged by the long-term potential of these investments, although we may not see returns from them quickly."

Meanwhile, the CRO's board is in the process of weighing an offer from Li, who co-founded the company, and major shareholder Ally Bridge Group Capital Partners to take the company private for $46 per share. WuXi has assembled a special committee of board members to evaluate the offer, declining to provide a timetable for when it will decide on a deal that values the company at more than $3 billion.

- read the results

Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Ge Li - WuXi PharmaTech

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