Amgen fourth quarter profit tops Street; raises 2016 forecast | Reuters

Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) on Thursday reported much higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, helped by increased sales of its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and lower costs, and the company raised its 2016 profit forecast.

Amgen said it now expects 2016 adjusted earnings of $10.60 to $11.00 per share, up from its prior view of $10.35 to $10.75, reflecting U.S. congressional approval of the research and development tax credit and delays in competition from biosimilar versions of some of its products.

Analysts on average were estimating 2016 earnings of $10.67 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The world's largest biotechnology company posted a net profit of $1.8 billion, or $2.37 per share, compared with a profit of $1.29 billion, or $1.68 a share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Amgen said it had adjusted earnings of $2.61. Analysts on average expected $2.29 per share.

Amgen now sees 2016 revenue of $22 billion to $22.5 billion versus its earlier view of $21.7 billion to $22.3 billion.

Revenue for the quarter rose 4 percent to $5.53 billion, matching Wall Street estimates.

The company's ongoing cost-cutting efforts helped drive the earnings beat as R&D expenses fell 10 percent in the quarter and costs of sales decreased 7 percent.

Sales of Enbrel rose 8 percent in the quarter to $1.44 billion, primarily driven by price increases. That topped Wall Street estimates for about $1.32 billion.

The osteoporosis drug Prolia also topped estimates as sales jumped 21 percent to $380 million, compared with analysts' expectations of about $352 million.

Sales of some other key products fell short of expectations, including Xgeva to prevent fractures once cancer has spread to the bones, and the white blood cell-boosting infection fighter Neulasta.

Sales of the older Neupogen fell 4 percent due to competition, including from Novartis' (NOVN.VX) Zarxio, the first approved biosimilar in the United States.

Amgen shares rose 1.4 percent to $150.50 in extended trading from their Nasdaq close at $148.35.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Richard Chang)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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Updated Date: Jan 29, 2016 04:00:17 IST

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