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CIBC World Keeps Strong Buy on Amgen

Amgen (AMGN) posted $0.28 Q1 EPS on 14% higher product sales. The company cut its estimated 2001 EPS growth rate to the low double-digits from the mid-teens. CIBC World maintains its strong buy rating on the shares.

Analyst Matt Geller says Amgen's Q1 EPS surpassed his $0.27 estimate, but product revenues were light. He notes that the company cut its 2001 guidance due to lower sales expectations for Epogen and Aranesp. As a result of softer revenue growth, he cut his $1.23 2001 EPS estimate to $1.17 and his $1.50 forecast for 2002 to $1.39.

Geller notes that the company is in a transition from a "pipeline story to a launch story". He believes the shares will be driven over the next year by launch timing and post-launch sales of four products currently under FDA review. He cut his $90 price target to $70.

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