Amgen First-Quarter Sales Disappoint; Shares Fall


Amgen on Tuesday reported first-quarter sales that fell short of Wall Street expectations for most of its biggest-selling medicines, and its shares fell more than 6 percent.

Revenue for the quarter rose 5 percent to $4.24 billion, but was shy of Wall Street expectations of $4.37 billion.

"It was a soft revenue quarter across the board. They missed on all the major products versus consensus and our expectations," said Geoffrey Porges, a biotech analyst with Sanford Bernstein. "It reflects the maturity and increasing competitive intensity facing the company's core products."

The world's biggest biotechnology company did manage to post a profit that exceeded expectations.

Excluding one-time items, Amgen had adjusted earnings of $1.96, topping analysts' average expectations by 12 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

Amgen made up for the shortfall in expected sales "with a little bit of belt tightening and a likely non-recurring tax windfall," Porges said.

Amgen still expects full-year revenue of $17.8 billion to $18.2 billion. But it said it now sees earnings per share coming in above the midpoint of its forecast range of $7.05 to $7.35 per share. Wall Street is estimating revenue of $18.07 billion and earnings of $7.21 per share.

The company posted a net profit of $1.43 billion, or $1.88 per share, compared with a profit of $1.18 billion, or $1.48 per share, a year ago.

Sales of the blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel rose 11 percent to $1.04 billion, largely due to price increases. But that was short of Wall Street expectations of about $1.09 billion.

The anemia drug Aranesp saw sales fall 10 percent to $468 million, well short of analysts' estimates of about $490 million. While Aranesp sales have been falling for years over safety concerns and usage restrictions, the withdrawal of a new rival product over serious safety issues had been expected to slow Aranesp's decline.

Even the fast growing newer drugs Xgeva, for preventing fractures due to cancer that has spread to the bones, and the related osteoporosis drug Prolia disappointed Wall Street.

Xgeva sales grew 46 percent to $223 million, short of the $235 million Wall Street was looking for, while Prolia sales jumped 61 percent to $142 million, shy of expectations of about $159 million and down from the prior quarter's $159 million.

Amgen shares fell to $105.75 in extended trading from their Nasdaq close at $112.76. But Amgen shares had been on a tear, climbing 30 percent so far this year.

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