Amgen 1Q Profit Rises 5.2% On Broad Sales Growth
First Published Tuesday, 24th April 2012 10:42 pm - © 2012 Dow Jones
--Amgen first-quarter earnings, revenue rise on higher sales of newer drugs
--Sales of bone-building drugs grow while anti-anemia drugs continue decline
--Amgen reportedly near deal to buy Turkish generic company
(Adds details about WSJ report of potential Amgen deal beginning in third paragraph; additional details and background.)
By Peter Loftus
Of Dow Jones NEWSWIRES
Amgen Inc.'s (AMGN) first-quarter earnings rose 5.2% as the drug maker reported sales growth across many of its products, helping results beat expectations.
The Thousand Oaks, Calif., company has been pursuing deals to bolster its research-and-development pipeline and grow sales of its bone-building drugs to help offset declining sales of its key anti-anemia drugs, which have slumped in recent years due to safety concerns and intensifying competition. Amgen recently completed a $1.16 billion acquisition of Micromet Inc. (MITI), a deal expected to strengthen its cancer-drug research pipeline.
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported Amgen was near a deal to acquire Turkish generic-drug company Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii AS for about $700 million, a deal that would deepen Amgen's exposure to faster-growing developing markets.
Amgen executives didn't discuss the potential Mustafa deal on a conference call with analysts Tuesday, but said international expansion was an important opportunity for the company.
Amgen also is undergoing a leadership transition. Chief Executive Kevin Sharer is due to step down in May and remain chairman until the end of 2012. President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Bradway will succeed Sharer as CEO.
Amgen reported a profit of $1.18 billion, or $1.48 a share, up from $1.13 billion, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier. Excluding acquisition and restructuring-related expenses and other items, per-share earnings were up at $1.61 from $1.34. Revenue increased 9.2% to $4.05 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $1.45 a share on revenue of $3.93 billion.
Operating margin rose to 36.4% from 34.9%.
Combined sales of Neulasta and Neupogen, which are used to ward off infections undergoing cancer treatment, rose 9% to $1.34 billion from a year earlier.
The company has been counting on its new bone-building drugs, Xgeva and Prolia, to boost overall sales growth. First-quarter sales of Xgeva, a drug designed to prevent bone injuries in cancer patients, were $153 million, up 14% sequentially from the fourth quarter. Sales of Prolia, for osteoporosis in women, were up $88 million, up 9% from the fourth quarter.
Sales of anti-anemia drug Epogen dropped 17% to $446 million from a year earlier, while anti-anemia drug Aranesp had sales of $518 million, down 11%.
Shares of Amgen, which affirmed its 2012 guidance, were up 0.5% to $68.63 in recent after-hours trading.
-By Peter Loftus, Dow Jones Newswires; 215-982-5581; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Tess Stynes contributed to this article.)