ICON shares slip despite results

Shares in Dublin-headquartered pharmaceutical and healthcare services firm, ICON fell by over 8.5% yesterday, despite the publication of a strong set of third quarter financial figures.

The Nasdaq-quoted company’s shares, which are more than 90%-owned by institutional investors, were priced at just over $64.30 in afternoon trading in New York, but still have an average short-term price target, amongst analysts, of over $80.

The Leopardstown company, which provides clinical trial data and drug development studies to the biopharmaceutical sector yesterday reported a solid third quarter performance, with net revenue up, year-on-year, 1.8% at just under $395m (€358m).

Operating income rose by over 20% to $71.4m and the net value of new business wins, for the period, amounted to $475m.

Net income for the quarter was up 22%, year-on-year, at $61.5m, compared to the $50.3m reported for the corresponding period last year.

ICON’s chief executive, Ciaran Murray hailed the three months to the end of September as “another strong quarter” for the firm.

Operational highlights of the quarter included the signing of a partnership with specialist biopharma firm, Mereo BioPharma, allowing ICON sole provider status of clinical development services; and a tie-up with IBM to use its artificial intelligence technology, allowing a massive improvement in patient recruitment for clinical trials.

In the year to date, ICON’s net income is up by nearly 40%, year-on-year, at $176m; with revenue ahead by over 5% at nearly $1.2bn.


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