Amgen Surges to Highest Value as 2,400 Job Cuts Planned

Amgen Inc., the world’s biggest biotechnology company by sales, reached its highest value after announcing a restructuring plan that focuses on drugs approaching market approval.

Amgen climbed 5.43 percent to close at $130.01 in New York, the highest share value since the company’s initial public offering in 1983, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company will cut 2,400 to 2,900 employees, or 12 to 15 percent of its workforce, and close facilities in Washington state and Colorado, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company said in a statement yesterday. Amgen also reported second-quarter income that beat analysts’ estimates.

The restructuring is designed to “pro-actively reallocate resources ahead of the commercialization of our many promising molecules,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Bradway said in a conference call with analysts yesterday.

The company raised its 2014 forecast for earnings excluding one-time items to $8.20 per share to $8.40 per share, and revenue to $19.5 billion to $19.7 billion. Previously, Amgen predicted $7.90 to $8.20 in earnings per share and $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion in revenue.

Amgen is seeking to expand its product line from the arthritis drug Enbrel and the anemia drugs Epogen and Aranesp. The company acquired the blood-cancer treatment Kyprolis in its $10.4 billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals last year, and has an experimental cholesterol drug the company will submit this year for regulatory approval.

Amgen is also exploring treatments of kidney disease, and reported on July 17 that its experimental drug AMG 416 reduced parathyroid hormone levels in patients with chronic disease.

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