Parexel Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of pharmaceutical research contractor Parexel International (NAS: PRXL) climbed 10% in early Wednesday trading after its fourth-quarter results and full-year guidance beat Wall Street expectations.

So what: Parexel restructured the early stage part of its clinical research service segment after a disappointing third quarter. Today's market-topping results -- adjusted EPS of $0.10 versus an analyst consensus of $0.07 -- suggest that the turnaround is under way. The stock is steadily coming off its highs for the day, so investors aren't fully convinced yet, but strong bookings are at least making Parexel's near-term profit outlook much easier to count on.

Now what: Don't let this pop prevent you from researching Parexel. Management now sees a fiscal year 2012 profit in the range of $0.95 to $1.14 per share, while analysts had been expecting per-share earnings of $0.93 to $1.10. With the stock still down about 25% over the past three months, betting on that guidance may be a reasonable thing to do.  

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorBrian Pacamparaowns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool'sdisclosure policyalways gets a perfect score.

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