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Amgen Earnings and Sales Rise, Top Forecasts

Amgen reported a profit and sales that climbed higher and beat analysts' forecasts as sales of some key drugs topped expectations.

Amgen
Amgen

The biotechnology company also raised its earnings forecast for the full year.

Amgen said it earned $1.14 a share on a topline of $3.76 billion excluding one-time items, against a profit of $1.12 a share on sales of $3.73 billion in the same period last year.

A consensus estimate put the biotechnology giant's performance at $1.02 a share on sales of $3.583 billion.

Amgen boosted its 2008 adjusted earnings forecast from a prior range of $4.00 to $4.30 a share to a new range of $4.25 to $4.45 a share. The company now expects 2008 revenue of $14.6 billion to $14.9 billion, up from $14.2 billion to $14.6 billion.

Amgen said its second-quarter net profit including one-time charges and other items fell to $941 million, or 87 cents per share, from $1.02 billion, or 90 cents per share, a year ago.

Shares of Amgen were more than 2 percent higher in extended electronic trading.

The erosion of the anemia franchise slowed in the quarter as worldwide sales of red blood cell booster Aranesp—long considered Amgen's most important product—fell 13 percent from a year ago to $825 million. But that was an increase over the previous quarter and crushed Wall Street's diminished expectations of $727 million.

Sales of the older Epogen, which is used primarily in kidney dialysis patients and has been hit with similar safety concerns, fell only slightly to $622 million from $624 million and also topped expectations of $583 million.

Sales of Enbrel, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the skin condition psoriasis, rose just 2 percent to $841 million, shy of analyst estimates of $855 million.

Combined global sales of Neulasta and Neupogen, used to boost white blood cells, rose 15 percent to $1.20 billion, edging past Wall Street estimates of $1.13 billion. (See the accompanying video for more details.)

Amgen stock jumped more than 12 percent during regular market hours, largely because of the company's late Friday announcement that a trial of its experimental osteoporosis drug denosumab met its goal of reducing the risk of bone fracture in post-menopausal women.

Amgen shares, under assault for most of 2007, have been recovering, rising some 30 percent this year as positive denosumab data has drowned out the steady drum beat of bad news involving its once top-selling anemia drugs.

- Wire services contributed to this report.

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