PPD Earnings Down in Q1, Opens Office in Japan

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wilmington, N.C-based contract research organization (CRO) PPD reported first quarter 2009 earnings late yesterday along with the opening of its first office in Japan and the completion of the acquisition of AbCRO, a Bulgarian CRO.

The new office in Tokyo will expand the CRO’s phase II to IV clinical development services in East Asia.

PPD’s first quarter 2009 net revenues were down almost $30 million from the first quarter 2008 to $364.9 million, compared to net revenue of $392.5 million in Q1 2008. First quarter 2009 income from continuing operations was $65.2 million, compared to income from continuing operations of $67.1 million for the same period in 2008.

“While net revenue was below expectations for the quarter, PPD generated strong earnings and solid cash flow,” said PPD CEO Fred Eshelman in a company statement. “In this challenging economic environment, we have experienced unprecedented cancellation levels, significant rescheduling of existing backlog, and lower-than-expected authorizations for the first quarter. As a result, we have adjusted our 2009 financial guidance accordingly. Despite these challenges, we continue to believe the CRO market remains attractive, and we will remain focused on core business execution throughout the year.”

The CRO revised its 2009 full-year guidance to reflect the current economic climate and the pending sale of Piedmont Research Center, part of the company’s discovery sciences segment.  The new guidance range is $1.395 billion to $1.47 billion, down from $1.6 billion to $1.67 billion, with diluted earnings per share of $1.54 to $1.60, down from $1.97 to $2.05 per share.

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