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Covance profit beats estimates as late-stage drug trials shine

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Research services provider Covance Inc reported a better-than-expected 19 percent jump in quarterly adjusted profit as it gained from higher investments in later stages of drug development by pharma companies.

Net income rose to $45.8 million, or 80 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $33.9 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 87 cents per share.

Total revenue rose 10 percent to $669.8 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 84 cents per share on revenue of $614.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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