Covance Reports 1Q07 Earnings of $0.60 Per Share

- Backlog increases 38.6% on $510 Million in Net Orders -

PRINCETON, N.J., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) today reported revenue growth of 11.8% and earnings for its first quarter ended March 31, 2007 of $0.60/diluted share, representing 15.7% year- over-year growth in EPS.

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"We continued to see the benefit of our diversified portfolio of drug development services in the first quarter," said Joe Herring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our Early Development team delivered exceptional year-over-year revenue growth of 25.8% and a 130 basis point sequential expansion in operating margins. These strong results were broad-based across toxicology, chemistry, and clinical pharmacology. We were especially pleased to see our eight new clinical pharmacology sites produce very strong sequential revenue growth and achieve profitability in the quarter. Late- Stage Development results were below our expectations as revenues grew 0.6% and operating margins were 16.3%. We experienced lower than anticipated kit volumes in our central laboratory services in the first quarter. Our analysis indicates kit volumes are being impacted by a change in the therapeutic mix of our wins to studies of longer duration and a shift of clinical trials to emerging geographies which take longer to initiate. However, net orders in central labs continue to be strong, as evidenced by its book-to-bill of 1.4 to 1 in the quarter and 30% growth in backlog, which should drive revenue growth as enrollment in these trials gathers momentum. We have already seen increases in kit volumes in March and further increases in April. Process improvement and strong project management positioned our clinical development team to deliver strong revenue growth and solid margins in the quarter. As we projected, consolidated revenue growth returned to double-digit levels and operating margins expanded year-on-year."

"Robust demand for our services drove net orders up 36% year-on-year to $510 million. Order performance was very strong in both of our segments. Total company book-to-bill was 1.42 to 1 and backlog grew 39% year-on-year to $2.4 billion. Included in first quarter orders were the large dedicated space contract we announced in January as well as the expansion of another dedicated space agreement. We also won several significant Phase II/III clinical projects. This strong sales performance gives us continued confidence in achieving our full-year targets of low- to mid-teens revenue growth and diluted earnings per share of at least $2.63."

    Selected Consolidated Results

         ($ in millions except EPS)          1Q07      1Q06    Change
         Total Revenues                     $376.9    $333.6
         Less: Reimbursable Out-of-Pockets   $18.6     $13.1
         Net Revenues                       $358.3    $320.5    11.8%
         Operating Income                    $52.0     $45.8    13.5%
           Operating Margin %                 14.5%     14.3%
         Net Income                          $38.9     $33.4    16.5%
           Diluted EPS                       $0.60     $0.52    15.7%

    Operating Segment Results

    Early Development

         ($ in millions)                     1Q07      1Q06    Change
         Net Revenues                       $179.2    $142.4    25.8%
         Operating Income                    $43.7     $35.5    23.0%
         Margin %                             24.4%     24.9%

The Company's Early Development segment includes preclinical toxicology, analytical chemistry, clinical pharmacology services, and research products. Early Development net revenues for the first quarter of 2007 grew an exceptionally strong 25.8% to $179.2 million compared to $142.4 million in the first quarter of 2006. Net revenue growth in the quarter was broad-based across the segment.

Operating income for the first quarter of 2007 increased 23.0% to $43.7 million compared to $35.5 million for the first quarter of last year on the strong broad-based results across the segment. Operating margins for the first quarter of 2006 were 24.4%, up 130 basis points on a sequential basis, but down 50 basis points compared to the 24.9% reported in the first quarter of the prior year. Excluding the impact of the Radiant acquisition, operating margins expanded year-on-year.

    Late-Stage Development

         ($ in millions)                     1Q07      1Q06     Change
         Net Revenues                       $179.1    $178.1     0.6%
         Operating Income                    $29.2     $32.0    -8.7%
         Margin %                             16.3%     18.0%

The Late-Stage Development segment includes central laboratory, Phase II-III clinical development, commercialization services (periapproval services and market access services), and cardiac safety services. Late-Stage Development net revenues were $179.1 million compared to $178.1 million in the first quarter of 2006. Strong year-on-year and sequential growth in clinical development services was offset by softness in central laboratory, cardiac safety, and commercialization services.

Operating income for the first quarter of 2007 was $29.2 million compared to $32.0 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Operating margins for the first quarter of 2007 were 16.3% versus 18.0% in the first quarter of the prior year. Year-on-year margin expansion in clinical development services was offset by the impact of revenue softness experienced in central laboratory, cardiac safety, and commercialization services.

Corporate Information

The Company's backlog at March 31, 2007 grew 38.6% year-over-year to $2.4 billion compared to $1.7 billion at March 31, 2006. Net orders in the first quarter of 2007 were $510 million, up 36.0% over the $375 million reported in the first quarter of 2006.

Corporate expenses totaled $20.9 million in the first quarter of 2007 compared to $20.0 million last quarter and $21.6 million in the first quarter of last year.

The Company reported $181.5 million in cash and cash equivalents at March 31, 2007, as compared to $219.8 million at December 31, 2006. The reduction in cash balances is largely attributable to the company's repurchase of 780,800 shares of its common stock for $46.4 million during the quarter.

Operating cash flow for the first quarter was $34.9 million, which included payment of annual employee bonuses. Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2007 were $31.8 million. Free cash flow (cash from operations less capital spending) was $3.1 million. We continue to expect full year 2007 capital spending to be approximately $160 million, including significant expenditures for the new Arizona preclinical facility, and 2007 free cash flow to be approximately $75 million.

Net Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) of 46 days at March 31, 2007 improved 10 days over March 31, 2006 and 3 days as compared to December 31, 2006.

The Company's investor conference call will be webcast on May 1 at 9:00 am EDT. Management's commentary and presentation slides will be available through

Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with annual revenues greater than $1.3 billion, global operations in more than 20 countries, and more than 8,100 employees worldwide. Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through its website at

Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical facts, such as statements about prospective earnings, savings, revenue, operations, revenue and earnings growth and other financial results are forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements including the statements contained herein regarding anticipated trends in the Company's business are based largely on management's expectations and are subject to and qualified by risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, competitive factors, outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical industry, levels of industry research and development spending, the Company's ability to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel, the fixed price nature of contracts or the loss of large contracts, risks associated with acquisitions and investments, the Company's ability to increase order volume, the pace of translation of orders into revenue in late-stage development services, difficulties or delays in integrating acquired businesses and achieving anticipated efficiencies and synergies, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the Company's expectations.

                                  COVANCE INC.


               FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2007 AND 2006

                  (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)


                                                 Three Months Ended March 31
                                                    2007              2006

    Net revenues                                  $358,319          $320,509
    Reimbursable out-of-pockets                     18,620            13,129
         Total revenues                            376,939           333,638

    Costs and expenses:
      Cost of revenue                              234,379           213,660
      Reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses             18,620            13,129
      Selling, general and administrative           55,791            48,286
      Depreciation and amortization                 16,111            12,719
            Total costs and expenses               324,901           287,794

    Income from operations                          52,038            45,844

    Other (income) expense, net:
      Interest income, net                          (2,480)           (1,813)
      Foreign exchange transaction loss, net           149               262
            Other income, net                       (2,331)           (1,551)

    Income before taxes and equity
     investee earnings                              54,369            47,395

    Taxes on income                                 16,041            14,256

    Equity investee earnings                           566               250

    Net income                                     $38,894           $33,389

    Basic earnings per share                         $0.61             $0.53

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     basic                                      63,845,710        63,172,374

    Diluted earnings per share                       $0.60             $0.52

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     diluted                                    64,895,239        64,446,222

                                  COVANCE INC.

                           CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                      MARCH 31, 2007 and DECEMBER 31, 2006

                             (Dollars in thousands)

                                                  March 31        December 31
                                                    2007              2006
    Current Assets:
       Cash & cash equivalents                    $181,548          $219,810
       Accounts receivable, net                    205,625           205,473
       Unbilled services                           102,247            89,139
       Inventory                                    48,286            49,628
       Deferred income taxes                         3,795             4,320
       Prepaid expenses and other current
        assets                                      85,109            71,196
           Total Current Assets                    626,610           639,566

    Property and equipment, net                    516,638           500,057
    Goodwill, net                                  119,725           119,725
    Other assets                                    40,956            38,330
           Total Assets                         $1,303,929        $1,297,678

    Current Liabilities:
       Accounts payable                            $29,437           $35,479
       Accrued payroll and benefits                 62,951            76,657
       Accrued expenses and other current
        liabilities                                 44,532            50,855
       Unearned revenue                            125,650           109,559
       Income taxes payable                         22,791            17,154
           Total Current Liabilities               285,361           289,704

    Deferred income taxes                           30,738            31,052
    Other liabilities                               57,764            53,627
           Total Liabilities                       373,863           374,383

    Stockholders' Equity:
       Common stock                                    738               734
       Paid-in capital                             442,306           426,806
       Retained earnings                           796,071           757,809
       Other Comprehensive Income:
            Cumulative translation
             adjustment                             36,317            35,170
            FAS 158 adjustment                     (23,389)          (23,389)
       Treasury stock                             (321,977)         (273,835)
           Total Stockholders' Equity              930,066           923,295
           Total Liabilities and
            Stockholders' Equity                $1,303,929        $1,297,678

                                 COVANCE INC.


              FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2007 AND 2006

                            (Dollars in thousands)


                                                 Three Months Ended March 31

                                                    2007              2006
    Cash flows from operating activities:
      Net income                                   $38,894           $33,389
      Adjustments to reconcile net income
       to net cash provided by
        operating activities:
        Depreciation and amortization               16,111            12,719
        Non-cash compensation expense
         associated with employee benefit
           and stock compensation plans              8,256             6,697
        Deferred income tax (benefit)
         provision                                  (1,037)           (1,203)
        Other                                         (326)             (195)
        Changes in operating assets and
           Accounts receivable                        (152)           12,362
           Unbilled services                       (13,108)           (7,910)
           Inventory                                 1,342              (227)
           Accounts payable                         (6,042)           (2,296)
           Accrued liabilities                     (15,875)          (12,241)
           Unearned revenue                         16,091            (6,332)
           Income taxes payable                      8,618             5,260
           Other assets and liabilities,
            net                                    (17,866)           (7,462)
    Net cash provided by operating
     activities                                     34,906            32,561

    Cash flows from investing activities:
      Capital expenditures                         (31,800)          (19,158)
      Other, net                                       -                  22
    Net cash used in investing activities          (31,800)          (19,136)

    Cash flows from financing activities:
      Stock issued under employee stock
       purchase and option plans                     6,438            17,560
      Purchase of treasury stock                   (48,142)             (563)
    Net cash (used in) provided by
     financing activities                          (41,704)           16,997
    Effect of exchange rate changes on
     cash                                              336               (42)
    Net change in cash and cash
     equivalents                                   (38,262)           30,380

    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning
     of period                                     219,810           160,717

    Cash and cash equivalents, end of
     period                                       $181,548          $191,097