How good was INC Research’s first-quarter financial performance?

Financial news website Seeking Alpha called INC’s (Nasdaq: INCR) performance “a powerful profit beat.”

INC Research went public in November, reported a big first quarter profit on Monday, and investors as well as some employees quickly moved to sell shares as INC soared on the Street.

First, a quick look at the financials.

INC, a clinical research firm with global reach. reported earnings of 42 cents per share. That sizzled past Wall Street expectations on 28 cents.

Profit hit $25.3 million, and revenues soared 15.8 percent from previous reports to more than $211 million, which was better than analysts’ expectations.

The news sent INC shares soaring more than 20 percent to a new high of $38.76.

Investor ardor cooled, however, with shares closing at $35.31.

Still, shares were up $5.19 or 17 percent on the day.

For the year, shares are up 17 percent.

And investors are cashing out.

Just after the earnings report was released, INC disclosed that backers were selling 9.2 million shares.

Backers who had helped INC go public that are selling shares include “affiliates of Avista Capital Partners, L.P.; affiliates of Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board; and certain current and former employees of INC Research,” the company said. “INC Research will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares.”

INC also said it would buy $150 million of shares from “certain selling stockholders” in another transaction which it termed “private.”