CIBC World Keeps 'Sector Outperform' on Amgen

Analyst Matt Geller thinks a negative report of a rival drug made by Johnson & Johnson could lift sales of Amgen's Aranesp

CIBC World reiterates sector outperform on Amgen (AMGN ).

Analyst Matt Geller views a report in Saturday's New York Times as highly positive for Amgen. He notes the newspaper reported that European Union regulators are considering banning Johnson & Johnson's Eprex, its drug for chronic kidney failure. He says about $700 million of Eprex is sold in Europe for chronic kidney failure.

However, Geller notes Eprex has caused 160 cases of pure red cell aplasia, a blood disorder, and says a decision could come in days or weeks. If 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 maintains his $1.35 earnings per share estimate for 2002 $1.63 estimate for 2003. He has a $57 12 to 18 month target.

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