RALEIGH – PRA Health Sciences on Thursday reported a performance that soared past Wall Street’s expectations.

The life science firm reported a first-quarter profit of $40.7 million.

The Raleigh-based company said it had net income of 63 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.05 per share.

PRA Health

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.04 per share.

The contract research organization posted revenue of $783.7 million in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $760.6 million.

In conjunction with the earnings report, Colin Shannon, PRA’s Chief Executive Officer, took the opportunity to issue a lengthy statement praising his firm’s response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRA Health app allows patients enrolled in trials to be monitored ‘virtually’ during pandemic

“During these unprecedented times, we have focused on the health and safety of employees putting into practice what we have always said about our people being our most important asset. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we have prioritized employees’ well-being and have worked diligently with our customers to ensure that we mitigate the impact that this pandemic is having on their studies,” he explained.

“Our first quarter financial results were impacted by the pandemic, particularly during the latter part of the quarter, when decisions on new business were delayed and stay-at-home orders created challenges in conducting our business. However, we still produced revenue and earnings that were in line with the guidance we provided back in February. As the world started moving into lockdown we worked creatively with clients to help them find solutions for their on-going studies. Through the use of our mobile health platform and our remote monitoring technology, we were able to mitigate some of the impact the lockdown had on our financial results.

“With all the uncertainty of how this pandemic will unfold, it is extremely difficult to estimate the impact to our financial results, but we will continue to manage our business in a very fiscally responsible manner and continue to be innovative in finding solutions for our clients. We have significantly reduced our debt levels over the past few years, and we are well-positioned to weather the challenging economic conditions that we may continue to face. I would also like to add that we are extremely thankful to all those who are helping the world get through this global pandemic.”

PRA Health Sciences shares have decreased 13% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $96.50, a decrease of roughly 2% in the last 12 months.

Read the full earnings report online.