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Amgen: Reports Of Layoffs Question Company's Health

Friday, 10 Aug 2007 | 2:03 PM ET
The sign outside Amgen Inc.'s entrance. Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ric Francis
The sign outside Amgen Inc.'s entrance. Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The Los Angeles Times reports in a front-page article that Amgenmay announce layoffs soon. The report attributes the information that the company may get rid of 15% of its employees within the next several weeks to "three people familiar with the matter".

Miller Tabak Healthcare Analyst Les Funtleyder raised that possibility in a research note to clients awhile ago. Amgen he argues needs to cut costs to weather the plummeting sales of its most important drugs for chemotherapy and kidney dialysis related anemia.

But Bernstein Biotech Analyst Geoffrey Porges believes a workforce reduction would be ill-timed. He argues that a potential blockbuster for osteoporosis is in late-stage development at Amgen. And if it works, Porges says the company would need all hands on deck for a successful launch. Major data on the drug are due out next year.

Amgen is down again today, hovering near its 52-week low.

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