RALEIGH — PRA Health Sciences on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit of $74.8 million.

The global contract research organization with headquarters in Raleigh said it had profit of $1.16 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.54 per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.48 per share.

The firm posted revenue of $800.2 million in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $794.1 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $243 million, or $3.68 per share. Revenue was reported as $3.07 billion.

Founded in 1976, the company moved its global headquarters to Raleigh in 2008. It specializes in clinical research, Phase I-lla, Phase II-lll, post approval, therapeutic exercise, biosimilars, rare disease and oncology.

Since 2000, PRA has participated in more than 3,800 clinical trials and participated in regulatory approval of more than 85 products. It now has over 16,000 employees operating in more than 90 countries.

Looking ahead

For the current quarter ending in April, PRA Health Sciences expects its per-share earnings to range from $1.05 to $1.15.

The company said it expects revenue in the range of $765 million to $787 million for the fiscal first quarter.

PRA Health Sciences expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.77 to $5.97 per share, with revenue ranging from $3.23 billion to $3.36 billion.

PRA Health Sciences shares have risen slightly since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $111.47, a drop of 2% in the last 12 months.’