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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers November 21, 2017
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - QuintilesIMS posts mixed results, ups stock buyback plan [The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)] - November 21, 2017

Pharmacy News Article

 2/15/17 - QuintilesIMS posts mixed results, ups stock buyback plan [The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)]

Feb. 14Health care services giant QuintilesIMS posted mixed fourth-quarter results and expanded its share buyback plans by $1 billion.

Shares of the company, which has headquarters in Danbury, Conn. and Durham, closed 3 percent higher Tuesday.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $1.95 billion, a tad short of the $1.97 billion anticipated by Wall Street analysts polled by Bloomberg News. But adjusted earnings per share exceeded estimates.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent, or 4.2 percent after adjusting for currency fluctuations, for the combined businessess that merged in October. Durham-based Quintiles, a contract research organization that helps pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials of experimental drugs and analyze the results, combined with Connecticut-based IMS Health, a healthcare information company best know for its healthcare data encompassing prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medical claims, electronic medical records and social media.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled $266 million, or $1.09 per share, beating analysts' projections by 4 cents per share.

Without adjustments, however, the company posted a net loss of $178 million, which it attributed to a one-time tax charge

Given that this was the first quarter that the company reported combined results and that it has re-categorized its business segments, evaluating the results was a complicated chore for analysts.

"The reporting is new and very challenging to analyze quickly, but our initial read is negative," Baird Equity Research analyst Eric Coldwell wrote in a research note.

"Overall, we view the combined QuintilesIMS results and guidance as largely in line," wrote William Blair & Co. analyst John Kreger.

QuintilesIMS announced in November that its board had authorized repurchasing up to $1.5 billion of its stock by the end of 2017. On Tuesday it upped the ante, saying the board had boosted its buyback authority to $2.5 billion.

The company already has repurchased $1 billion worth of stock under the plan, or about 13 million shares accounting for about 5 percent of the total shares outstanding, leaving it with up to $1.5 billion in future buybacks.

CEO Ari Bousbib told analysts during a conference call that the buybacks are the company's "preferred method of returning capital to shareholders" and added that "we also see our shares as an attractive investment."

Investors like stock buybacks because it boosts earnings on a per-share basis.

Quintiles shares closed at $82.30, up $2.30.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii


(c)2017 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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