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Parexel posts higher profit, lifts outlook

BOSTON (AP) -- Pharmaceutical research contractor Parexel International Corp. said on Tuesday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings jumped 65 percent as the company's backlog of contracts grew. Parexel raised its full-year earnings forecast above Wall Street's expectations.

Parexel reported net income of $21.3 million, or 36 cents per share, for its fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31. That was up from earnings of $12.9 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Parexel reported adjusted earnings of 41 cents per share. That was ahead of the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet, who expected adjusted earnings of 33 cents per share, on average.

Service revenue increased nearly 27 percent to $422.1 million.

The company's backlog of business was about $4.54 billion at the end of December, up 21 percent from a year earlier.

Parexel Chairman and CEO Josef von Rickenback said he expects the backlog to continue to fuel revenue growth in the fiscal third quarter and beyond.

The company now expects adjusted earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 for the full fiscal year 2013 on revenue of $1.695 billion to $1.71 billion. Those ranges are above the levels that the company had forecast on Dec. 27, when Parexel expected adjusted earnings of $1.36 to $1.43 per share on revenue of $1.675 billion to $1.695 billion.

The company's latest guidance is above analysts' consensus forecast for adjusted earnings of $1.41 per share on revenue of $1.679 billion.

Shares gained $1.14, or 3.4 percent, to $35 in aftermarket trading following the release of the earnings report.