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RALEIGH, NC (ALAN M. WOLF / RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER) — While rumors persist about drug researcher PPD’s possible takeover by a private equity group, an analyst report this week suggests the company has room to expand as its clients increase their research and development funding, staff writer Tori Stilwell reports.

More of PPD’s clients plan to boost spending on the clinical part of drug development, the company’s main business, according to Garen Sarafian, an analyst with Citigroup Global Markets who follows the company.

“That naturally favors PPDI,” Sarafian said, referring to the company’s stock ticker. He also cited the company’s “lean” cost structure and strong leadership as an explanation for why he started coverage of the company with a “buy” rating.

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