Icon eyes up to 12% growth in 2013

Irish CRO Icon ($ICLR) pulled down a monster fourth quarter, with revenue skyrocketing 24% to $300 million, and the company predicts an even brighter 2013, projecting annual revenue of up to $1.3 billion, good for a 12% jump.

Last quarter, Icon's net income more than quintupled to $20.7 million, buoyed by an increase in new business and improved operating margins, according to the company. All that growth is an affirmation of Icon's investment strategy over the past year, CEO Ciaran Murray said, and the CRO expects to keep reaping the benefits.

"Backlog grew 20% to $2.8 billion, which along with continuing investment in capabilities, talent and innovation in drug development, provides a solid foundation for further growth in 2013," Murray said in a statement.

Part of Icon's plan for continued growth is a renewed focus on its functional service provider offerings. In November, Icon consolidated all of its FSP business into its DOCS subsidiary, and, earlier this month, the CRO spent $52 million on Cross Country Healthcare's ($CCRN) clinical trials units, planning to roll them into DOCS and strengthen the business.

Icon is also getting used to life off of the Irish Stock Exchange, as the company made the leap to an exclusive Nasdaq listing over the winter.

- read Icon's release
- check out the full results