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Covance Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2008 Results
Date:1/28/2009

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) today reported earnings for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008 of $0.72 per diluted share. For the full-year, earnings per share were $3.08, up 13.3% year-on-year from $2.71 in 2007. Excluding the gain on sale of Covance's centralized ECG business from both years, earnings per share grew 14.5% to $3.03 in 2008 from $2.65 in 2007.

"As previously announced, reduced demand in our Early Development segment from a combination of a lower level of new project initiations and increased project delays in our toxicology and clinical pharmacology services led to a sequential decline in segment revenue and operating income," said Joe Herring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Demand for our Late-Stage Development services remained on-track in the fourth quarter, including revenue growth of 10.5% (13.5% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), operating margins of 19.6%, record orders, and a net book-to-bill exceeding 1.6 to 1. On a consolidated basis, fourth quarter net revenues grew 6.7% (10.9% excluding the impact of foreign exchange), operating margin was 14.5%, and EPS was flat year-on-year (excluding the gain on sale from both periods).

"On the commercial front, adjusted net orders in the fourth quarter were $567 million ($555 million on an unadjusted basis), representing an adjusted book-to-bill ratio of 1.29 to 1. Backlog grew 62% year-on-year to $4.33 billion. In addition, in the latter part of 2008, we secured two seven-year, sole source contracts for our central laboratory services from top-ten drug companies, under which orders will be recognized as new projects are awarded.

"On December 18 we released our targets for 2009, which outlined revenue growth of 5% to 10% over 2008 and earnings per share in the range of $3.00
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SOURCE Covance Inc.
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