Shares of PPD fell this morning after the drug-research company reported weaker sales and profit.
The Wilmington-based company employs about 1,400 people in the Triangle and is one of the largest contract-research organizations in a region full of them.
Fourth-quarter revenue fell slightly to $357.4 million, PPD reported late Monday. Net income fell 60 percent to $18.99 million.
PPD plans to spin off its drug-development division as a new, publicly traded company around the middle of this year to focus on expanding its other businesses. Most of the company's Triangle employees are involved in the contract research side.
PPD competes for new business with rivals such as Durham-based Quintiles Transnational. Big pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are cutting costs as they try to offset slowing sales.
PPD's stock, which is down 16 percent in the past year, fell 41 cents to $21.72 this morning.