BURLINGTON – Global life science giant LabCorp capped a year of growth in 2018 with a fourth-quarter performance that topped Wall Street expectations.

The Burlington-based company which also has operations in the Triangle reported before the markets opened Thursday earnings of $2.52 a share on revenue of $2.79 billion. That was 4 cents higher and just a bit more in revenue than forecast in a survey of analysts by Zacks.

For all 2018, LabCorp says revenue increased by some 10 percent with earnings growing by 20 percent.

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Chairman and CEO David King labeled the performance as a “strong year.”

“Our fourth quarter results included an excellent performance by Covance, with a strong 1.34 book to bill, constant currency organic revenue growth of over 9%, and margin expansion of approximately 300 basis points,” he said in a statement.

“Non-operational items constrained our Diagnostics business, but excluding those items, the fundamental revenue, margin and cash flow generation characteristics of the business remained strong, and we delivered organic volume growth and favorable mix. Both businesses continued to benefit from differentiated, data-driven solutions and growth opportunities derived from our competitive advantages in data and analytics, patient engagement, scientific innovation, and therapeutic expertise. The power of our Diagnostic-Drug Development combination is translating into unique solutions for patients, customers, and partners, positioning us to deliver growth and shareholder value in the years ahead.”

Fourth quarter revenue rose by 1.6 percent year-over-year, according to LabCorp.

Overall, 2018 revenue growth was driven in large part by acquisitions, which accounted for some 7.6 percent of the increase, the company noted.

For 2019, LabCorp doesn’t forecast as robust a year.

“Revenue growth of 0.5% to 2.5% over 2018 revenue of $11.33 billion, which includes the negative impact from the disposition of businesses of approximately 1% and foreign currency translation of approximately 0.4%,” the company said.