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CIBC World Keeps Amgen at 'Sector Outperform'


CIBC World Markets reiterated its sector outperform rating for Amgen (AMGN).

Analyst Matt Geller views a report in Saturday's New York Times as highly positive for Amgen. He noted that the newspaper reported that EU regulators are considering banning Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Eprex treatment for chronic kidney failure.

Geller says about $700 million of Eprex is sold in Europe for chronic kidney failure. However, Eprex has caused 160 cases of pure red cell aplasia, a blood disorder, he says. The decision could come in days or weeks, he says. If Eprex is banned, these patients would probably switch to Amgen's Aranesp or Roche's NeoRecormon, both of which are sold in Europe for the same indication.

Geller maintained his earnings per share estimates of $1.35 in 2002 and $1.63 in 2003. He has a $57 12-18 month price target on the stock.


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