* Raises 2013 profit forecast to $2.03-$2.09/share from$1.95-$2.05
* Third-quarter adjusted earnings $0.54/share vs est. $0.50
* Net new business wins rise 29 pct in third quarter
Oct 31 (Reuters) - Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc, the world's largest medical contract research provider,raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting ahigher-than-expected quarterly profit due to more contract wins.
The company said net new business wins, which include signedcontracts, letters of intent and pre-contract commitments, rose29 percent to more than $1.3 billion in the third quarter endedSept. 30.
"We continue to gain market share as reflected in thestrength of our net new business and the largest backlog in theindustry," Chief Executive Officer Tom Pike said in a statementon Thursday.
Contract research companies were hit by the economicdownturn in 2008 and by a wave of patent expirations, whichcaused drugmakers to tighten spending on drug development.
However, spending by pharmaceutical companies has picked upand they are increasingly outsourcing research to cut costs.
Quintiles' competitors Covance Inc and Charles RiverLaboratories International Inc reportedbetter-than-expected results on Tuesday and raised theirfull-year forecasts due to strong demand for their services.
Parexel International Corp, however, said itstruggled to win new contracts in its first quarter, blaming a"particularly competitive" environment in gaining business fromsmall and emerging biopharmaceutical companies.
Quintiles raised its earnings forecast to $2.03 to $2.09 pershare from $1.95 to $2.05.
The company, however, narrowed its full-year servicesrevenue forecast to $3.77 billion-$3.80 billion from $3.76billion-$3.81 billion.
Quintiles, which reported results for the second time sincegoing public in May, said services revenue rose 2 percent to$932.7 million in the third quarter, driven by the contractresearch business.
Total revenue was flat at $1.2 billion.
Net income attributable to Quintiles rose to $66.8 million,or 50 cents per share, from $52.1 million, or 44 cents pershare, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 54 cents per share.
Analysts on average expected 50 cents per share, accordingto Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Quintiles shares closed at $43.38 on the New York StockExchange on Wednesday.
- Company Earnings