Amgen Boosts 2013 Forecast After Third-Quarter Sales Rise

Amgen Inc., the biotechnology company that completed its $10.4 billion acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. this month, boosted its 2013 forecast after third-quarter earnings rose 24 percent on higher drug sales.

Net income climbed to $1.37 billion, or $1.79 a share, from $1.11 billion, or $1.41, a year earlier, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company said today in a statement. Earnings excluding one-time items were $1.94 a share, beating the $1.78 average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue in the third quarter increased 9.9 percent to $4.75 billion, topping analysts’ average estimate of $4.58 billion. Sales were boosted by a $155 million order from the U.S. government of Neupogen, a drug that helps patients on chemotherapy fight infection.

“If you back that out, it was an in-line quarter,” Michael Yee, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said today in a phone interview. “On the positives, all the revenue products look generally fine and that keeps the momentum alive in the sector.”

Amgen shares rose 2.3 percent to $116.21 at the close of trading today. They are up 35 percent this year, trailing a 52 percent increase for the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.

Revenue in 2013 will be $18.3 billion to $18.5 billion for the year, while profit will be $7.35 to $7.45 a share, Amgen said. Analysts had estimated revenue of $18.3 billion and earnings of $7.36 a share, on average.

Krypolis’s Prospects

The company, the world’s largest biotechnology firm by revenue, gained the cancer drug Kyprolis in its acquisition of Onyx, for $9.7 billion after factoring in Onyx’s cash. The deal, the industry’s largest this year, gives Amgen expected sales growth as analysts estimate Kyprolis may draw more than $2 billion in revenue by 2018.

Kyprolis sales were $65 million in the quarter, missing the $69 million estimate of Chris Raymond, an analyst with Robert W. Baird. The drug was approved in July 2012 for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

“Kyprolis came in light of expectations and was essentially flat quarter over quarter,” Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group, wrote in a note to clients today. “While disappointing, the real potential for Kyprolis will not be realized until its label is expanded to include earlier lines of myeloma therapy.”

Trial data are expected in 2014, with marketing approval in 2015, Schoenebaum said.

Revenue was boosted by higher sales of drugs including Amgen’s top seller, Enbrel, for psoriasis and arthritis, which saw an increase of 7 percent to $1.16 billion; and Prolia, for osteoporosis, which increased 62 percent to $178 million.

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