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Amgen Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise on Higher Drug Sales

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company by revenue, reported fourth-quarter earnings rose 30 percent on higher sales of medicines including Neulasta and Prolia.

Net income increased to $1.02 billion, or $1.33 a share, from $788 million, or $1.01, a year earlier, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company said today in a statement. Adjusted for one-time items, profit was $1.82 a share, beating the $1.69 average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Quarterly revenue gained 13 percent to $5.01 billion.

Amgen agreed to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $10.4 billion last year to acquire the multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis. Investor attention this year will be focused on that medicine, approved in July 2012 by the Food and Drug Administration, and its potential for broader use, said Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group.

“The key to the trading action at Amgen over the next six months is probably data on Kyprolis,” Schoenebaum told investors in a video last week. “That’s very important because the stock kind of took it on the chin late last year with concerns around this drug.”

Amgen shares gained 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 9.9 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The stock rose 1.8 percent to $120.70 at the close today in New York.

Amgen forecast 2014 sales of $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion and earnings except certain items of $7.90 a share to $8.20 a share. Analysts had estimated revenue of $19.6 billion and profit of $8.16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net