Dublin, Ireland-based contract research organization ICON reported strong first quarter net revenues with an increase of 9.2% to $201.3 million compared with the same quarter last year, a 25% hike in profit and hopes to add to that performance by acquiring a 100-bed phase I unit in Omaha, Neb.
"The last quarter represented a solid start to 2009," said Chairman Dr. John Climax. "Revenue was 9% ahead of prior year and earnings per share were up 25%."
Income from operations was $26.9 million, compared with $21.5 million for the same quarter last year. Net income was $20.9 million or 35 cents per share on a diluted basis, compared with $16.9 million or 28 cents per share last year.
"In a much more difficult market, we are pleased with the results for the quarter," said CEO Peter Gray. "Further margin expansion, despite some challenges, led to an overall increase in operating income of 25% compared to the same period last year. Business activity, which was slow to develop early in the quarter, finished strongly to deliver solid net business wins of $265 million and a book to bill of 1.2.
"Demonstrating our confidence in the long term health of the market, on April 20th we acquired the assets of the former Qualia Clinical Services, a phase I facility based in Omaha, Nebraska, and intend to reopen the unit in May.”
Gray said the acquisition is expected to be moderately dilutive to 2009 earnings—about four to six cents. “Excluding this, we continue to expect to achieve the 2009 guidance given in January, albeit at the lower end," he said.
In morning trading, ICON’s shares were flat at $15.96.