Morrisville, N.C.-based etrials’ sales were up 17% during its 2007 fourth quarter. The eClinical company reported net service revenue was $4.9 million compared with $4.2 million in 2006. However, it reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $2.6 million (or $0.24 per diluted share) compared with a net loss of $46,000 (or $0.00 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2006.
The company stated its business costs rose substantially across the board, signifying it is investing heavily to return the firm to profitability. The fourth quarter included a $1.75 million charge it paid for a litigation settlement for a patent infringement case with software developer Datasci.
Net service revenue for the year was up 18%, with $18.3 million reported in 2007 compared with $15.5 million the prior year. etrials reported a loss of $6.2 million (or $0.57 per share) compared with a $1.8 million loss (or $0.18 per share) in 2006.
The company stated costs were up significantly in all areas. Its sales and marketing costs also rose, partly due to new sales recruitment initiatives. Its R&D spending jumped 21%.also related to personnel costs. All told, $2.8 million was attributed to "increased personnel and related costs."
"Since mid-2007, we have made a number of key strategic senior management hires, made significant personnel upgrades, added a client services practice, and completely reorganized our sales organization to more effectively apply the expertise necessary to match our client needs. Further, we upgraded our IT infrastructure to ensure data performance, capacity, quality and security to position the company for long term growth," said Chip Jennings, president and chief executive officer of etrials.
etrials did, however, state its new project bookings were $7 million compared with $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2006, up 37% compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. The company was awarded 20 new contracts in 2007, including four from new customers.
"Even with our substantial progress, there is still much work to be done and more time required for these initiatives to wholly permeate the organization," added Jennings.
etrials stated it did not expect to benefit substantially from these investments until 2009.