Project Delays Hurt etrials in First Quarter
Morrisville, N.C.-based eClinical company etrials reported another challenging quarter with a drop in net service revenue of $3.7 million for the first quarter of 2008 compared to $4.1 million reported in 2007. Quarter over quarter, the company’s profit losses widen with a $2.0 million net loss for the quarter (or $0.19 per share) compared with a loss of $900,000 during the first quarter of 2007. etrials stated that its drop in revenue was partly due to new project delays, resulting in about $1 million in lost revenue.
"Despite the delayed project starts…we continue to increase studies with existing clients and add new clients. Our qualified pipeline is up nearly 50%; our close rates nearly doubled over last year; and we closed a number of multi-product solution sales with both new and existing clients. The sales metrics we follow are improving and we are where we planned to be at this stage of our sales re-engineering efforts," said etrials chief executive officer, Chip Jennings.
New product bookings for the first were also slightly down compared to the first quarter of 2007, with reportings of $4.8 million and $6.6 million respectively. And etrials booked $7 million during the last quarter of 2007. On a positive note, the company stated it held $20.3 million in backlogged business compared with $19.8 million on March 31, 2007 and $19.2 million on December 31, 2007. The company stated this reflected a trend towards fewer project cancellations and delays.