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PRA Health Sciences (PRAH) Down 2.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for PRA Health Sciences (PRAH - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 2.5% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is PRA Health Sciences due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

PRA Health Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

PRA Health Sciences, Inc reported third-quarter 2020 earnings per share of $1.30, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15%. The bottom line, however, fell from the prior-year quarter tally by 1.5%.

The company recorded revenues of $796.3 million in the quarter under review, up 2% year over year and 3.8% at cc.The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.7%.

Results in Detail

Segmental Analysis

Net new business at the Clinical Research segment came in at $737.9 million, indicating growth of 10.2% from the prior-year quarter. Through the segment, the company receives contracts to provide clinical research services, with payments based on fixed-fee or fee-for-service arrangements.

Revenues at the Clinical Research segment amounted to $732.1 million, up 1.8% year over year while revenues at the Data Solutions segment amounted to $64.2 million, up 4.1% year over year.

Direct Costs

Direct costs totaled $412.1 million in the quarter, up 5.9% fromt he prior-year quarter. Per management, the increase was primarily driven by a rise in labor-related costs at the Clinical Research and higher data costs in Data Solutions segments.

Margin Trend 

Gross profit came in at $384.2 million, down 1.8%. Gross margin came in at 48.3%, highlighting a contraction of 188 basis points (bps).

Adjusted operating profit in the quarter grossed $268.8 million, down 9.1% from the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin in the quarter was 33.8%, down 414 bps.

Financial Update

The company exited the third quarter of 2020 with cash and cash equivalents of $336.2 million, up from $168.2 million at the end of the second quarter.

Cumulative net cash provided by operating activities totaled $267.1million compared with that of  $65.9 million in the year-ago period.

2020 Guidance

For 2020, PRA Health raised revenue projection to $3.12-$3.15 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same stands at $3.10 billion.

Adjusted EPS for 2020 is expected within $4.61 and $4.71 (compared to previous range of $4.35-$4.55). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same stands at $4.43.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in estimates revision.

VGM Scores

Currently, PRA Health Sciences has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, PRA Health Sciences has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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