Although Princeton, N.J., CRO Covance experienced a number of third quarter cancellations and project delays, the company posted 11.1% revenue growth for the third quarter. Profit rose 15% to $51.1 million, or $0.80 per diluted share.
Backlog as of September 30 grew 62.1% to $4.25 billion compared with the same period last year, thanks in large part to the recent 10-year, $1.6 billion agreement with Eli Lilly, which created $1.27 billion in backlog for Covance.
Covance’s year-end guidance did not change, but the company expects to feel the impact of the weakening British pound in the fourth quarter.
“In light of our growing backlog, we remain confident in the strong fundamentals of Covance’s business model and market opportunity. However, with approximately 40% of our revenue coming from our oversea operations, the ongoing strengthening of the U.S. dollar is creating headwind,” said CEO and chairman Joe Herring. “Based upon current foreign exchange rates, we expect 2008 revenue growth to be in the low teens.”
In afternoon trading, Covance’s shares were down 21% to $52.45 and at one point fell more than 50% off its 52-week high of $99.08.