US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Parexel has put a more optimistic spin on its forthcoming second-quarter results, raising its financial guidance both for the quarter ended 31 December 2009 and for the full fiscal year that runs to 30 June 2010.

Better than expected service revenues and the impact of recent foreign exchange rates are part of the picture. Parexel has also deferred half of a previously announced restructuring charge to the second half of the fiscal year.

The company is due to report its second-quarter results on 25 January. At the first-quarter stage last October, Parexel said it would take a restructuring charge of around US$30 million as it set about “realigning our global cost structure to further capitalise upon the value that is inherent in our worldwide infrastructure”.

Restructuring and related charges are still expected to total around US$30 million but Parexel now plans to record about US$15 million of the charges in the second quarter and the rest in the second half of fiscal year 2010. “The timing of the restructuring and related charges has been pushed out as a result of delays associated with local labour law compliance requirements,” the CRO explained.

Parexel also suggested at the first-quarter stage that the clinical research market, battered by recession, was showing “promising signs of stabilisation”. Its forecast for consolidated service revenues in the second quarter has been adjusted to a range of US$280 million to US$285 million, as opposed to the previous guidance of US$275-US$280 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting service revenues of around US$276 million.

The amended guidance for earnings per diluted share (EPS) in Q2 is US$0.06 to US$0.08, according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Previously Parexel had forecast a loss per diluted share of US$0.09 to US$0.11.

On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted second-quarter EPS are projected at US$0.21 to US$0.23, which excludes the restructuring/related charges and compares with an analyst consensus of US$0.20. Parexel’s own previous guidance for adjusted EPS was US$0.19 to US$0.21.

For the whole of fiscal 2010, the CRO is forecasting consolidated service revenues in the range of US$1.115 billion to US$1.145 billion. Previous guidance was for US$1.105-US$1.125 billion and analysts are expecting revenues of US$1.10 billion.

The revised guidance for full-year EPS on a GAAP basis is US$0.60 to US$0.70 (previously US$0.57 to US$0.67) and adjusted earnings per diluted share, excluding the aforementioned restructuring and related charges, are projected at US$0.90 to US$1.00 (US$0.87 to US$0.97). The consensus analyst forecast for earnings per share in fiscal year 2010 is US$0.91.