QuintilesIMS (NYSE: Q), the life science giant that emerged from the October merger of Durham-based Quintiles and IMS, reported a $178 million quarterly loss for its first three months as one company.

In the earnings announcement made before the markets opened Tuesday, Quintiles said a tax issue was the primary factor in the loss.

“This loss was primarily due to a one-time deferred tax charge relating to certain changes in our assertion regarding reinvestment of foreign earnings,” the company said.

The foreign earnings charge resulted in a 74-cent per share loss.

However, adjusted earnings were $1.09, which topped analysts’ expectations of $1.06.

“For our first quarter as a combined company, we delivered a strong operational performance and achieved financial results in line with or above our targets,” said Ari Bousbib, chairman and CEO of QuintilesIMS. “The post-merger integration process is advancing well and we are pleased with our progress to date.”

Revenue came in at $2.34 billion. After adjustments it totaled $1.95 billion, which was slightly under expectations of $1.97 billion.

QuintilesIMS also forecast a drop in revenues to between $1.89 billion and $1.93 billion for the first quarter with earnings expected to be between 93 cents and 97 cents.

Read the full earnings report summary at: