Amgen Misses Earnings Views; Revenue Beats Forecasts

Amgen reported a 1.1% increase in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by solid growth in sales of its anemia treatments.

The world's largest biotechnology company posted a net profit of $833 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $824 million, or 66 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, but including a cost of 3 cents a share for a collaboration announced earlier this year, Amgen earned 90 cents a share. The company missed analysts' forecasts.

Total revenue for the quarter rose 17% to $3.8 billion, led by a 27% jump to $1.1 billion in sales of Aranesp, used to treat anemia in cancer and kidney dialysis patients. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.7 billion.

"It's a solid revenue number," Geoff Porges, a senior biotech analyst at Sanford Bernstein, told CNBC. "R&D is where the EPS miss came from."

Looking ahead to 2007, Amgen said it expects to earn $4.30 to $4.50, excluding items.

Epogen, an earlier version of Aranesp, saw sales rise 6% to $661 million.

Sales of Neulasta and Neupogen, used to boost white blood cells in chemotherapy patients, rose 10% to just over $1 billion.

Sales of Enbrel for arthritis and the skin condition psoriasis rose 18% to $792 million.

Amgen's new colon cancer drug Vectibix had sales of $39 million in its first full quarter on the market.

Amgen shares fell about 13% in 2006, mirroring the performance of rival biotech giant Genentech , but lagging the broader American Stock Exchange Biotech Index, which was up nearly 11% last year.

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