Medidata jumps after announcing Sanofi contract

NEW YORK -- Shares of Medidata Solutions Inc. climbed Wednesday after the research software maker said it won a contract with French drugmaker Sanofi.

The companies said Sanofi will use Medidata's "cloud" technology to collect and manage clinical data for its entire research and development organization. Cloud computing is an increasingly popular technology trend in which companies rely on software and data stored outside their offices, which can be accessed from Internet-enabled devices.

Medidata has added 72 customers over the past year, including Sanofi, one of the biggest drug companies in the world. Another big win was Otsuka, one of Japan's largest pharmaceuticals.

In the July-September quarter, Medidata's net income fell 46 percent to $4.1 million, or 16 cents per share, from $7.5 million, or 31 cents per share. Excluding one-time costs the company said it earned 24 cents per share. Revenue grew 21 percent, to $55.8 million from $46.3 million. Analysts predicted a larger profit of 31 cents per share and $56.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Profit dropped as the company spent more on research and development and marketing, saying that it was investing in its business, including its cloud platform. But contract bookings have grown 34 percent over the first nine months of 2011.

For the current quarter, Medidata expects to report $58 million to $60 million in revenue. Analysts expect $58.3 million. The company also expects adjusted net income of $7.5 million to $9 million, while analysts forecast $9.2 million.

Shares of Medidata rose $4.51, or 12 percent, to close at $42.02. Earlier the shares reached an all-time high of $43.79. Medidata went public in June 2009, with an initial public stock offering price of $14.