NEW YORK (AP) — WuXi PharmaTech Inc. said it shifted to a profit in the fourth quarter, compared with a year-ago period when the research and development outsourcing company lost money due to a large impairment charge.

However, the company predicted 2010 revenue below analyst estimates, and investors sent its U.S.-traded shares lower in premarket trading.

WuXi, which provides research and development outsourcing for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, said it earned $12.1 million, or 16 cents per American Depositary Share. A year ago WuXi took a loss of $93.9 million, or $1.42 per ADS. Revenue rose 15 percent to $73.9 million from $64.4 million, due to growth in laboratory service revenue.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expected profit of 16 cents per ADS and $74.5 million in revenue.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, the company recorded an impairment charge of $60.5 million after taxes.

WuXi said lab service revenue rose 18 percent to $67.5 million from $57.4 million, but manufacturing services revenue dipped to $6.3 million from $7 million.

For the full year, the company posted profit of $52.9 million, or 72 cents per ADS, compared with a loss of $64.2 million, or $1.01 per ADS, in 2008. Its annual revenue increased 7 percent, to $270 million from $253.5 million.

WuXi predicted revenue growth of 15 percent to 19 percent for 2010, which suggests revenue of $310.5 million to $321.3 million. Analysts forecast revenue of $328.6 million.

WuXi said lab services revenue will rise 13 percent to 16 percent, implying a total of $282.4 million to $289.9 million.

The company also said manufacturing revenue will improve from its 2009 total of $20.1 million. Manufacturing revenue fell 58 percent over the past year.

In premarket trading Tuesday, WuXi's U.S.-traded shares lost 83 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $14.98. The stock has ranged from $3.67 to $18 over the past year.