April 29, 2009 / 9:59 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Covance posts lower Q1; cuts 2009 profit view

* Q1 2009 shr $0.63 vs $0.76 year ago * Cuts ‘09 shr view to $2.50-$2.70 vs est. $2.89 April 29 (Reuters) - Clinical testing company Covance Inc CVD.N posted an 18 percent drop in quarterly profit and cut its 2009 profit view, citing lower demand for its early stage services.

Covance is the latest in a string of clinical research companies to cut its forecast, adjusting for demand. Rivals Kendle International Inc KNDL.O and Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc PPDI.O had issued weak forecasts, citing project cancellations.

Covance reduced it 2009 profit view to $2.50 to $2.70 per share from a previous forecast of $3.00 to $3.20 per share.

According to Reuters Estimates, analysts were expecting a profit of $2.89 per share, excluding items, for the year.

For the first quarter, the company, which is considered a bellwether for contract research organizations, posted a net income of $40.3 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with a net income of $49.1 million, or 76 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 8 percent to $468.4 million.

Analysts, on an average, were expecting a profit of 62 cents, before special items, on revenue of $428.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net revenue from early stage services fell 5 percent to $192.5 million.

Shares of the Princeton, New Jersey based company closed at $40.29 on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB0460]

For the company press release, double-click [ID:nPnPH07658] (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Pradeep Kurup)

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