BUSINESS

Biotech giant Amgen reports 2Q profit up 8 pct on higher sales, trounces analyst expectations

07/26/2012 05:16 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT
TRENTON, N.J. - Amgen Inc.'s second-quarter net income rose 8 per cent as the world's largest biotech company benefited from higher sales for its top-selling drugs, revenue from two new ones and a gain from selling its share of an experimental drug.

The results Thursday crushed Wall Street expectations, and Amgen shares jumped in after-hours trading. The company also raised its earnings and revenue forecasts for the year.

The maker of osteoporosis drug Prolia and Enbrel for inflammatory disorders said net income was $1.27 billion, or $1.61 per share, up from $1.17 billion, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier.

Amgen's adjusted results beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet by 29 cents per share, and revenue came in $400 million higher than expected.

Excluding one-time items, Amgen's second-quarter net income was $1.43 billion, or $1.83 per share, up from $1.28 billion, or $1.37 per share, in 2011's second quarter.

Revenue totalled $4.48 billion, up 13 per cent from $3.96 billion a year ago.

The total included a $206 million payment from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The two companies, which have been collaborating since 2008 on an experimental drug called motesanib for a type of lung cancer, changed the agreement, giving Takeda all rights to develop and sell it.

Sales were led by Neulasta and Neupogen, which treat the decline of infection-fighting white blood cells caused by cancer and other disorders. They brought in a total of $1.35 billion, up 2 per cent. Enbrel posted an 11 per cent jump in sales, to $991 million.

Amgen's newest drugs, Prolia and Xgeva for preventing fractures in cancerous bones, brought in $120 million and $179 million, respectively.

New CEO Robert Bradway talked up new drugs on a conference call with analysts.

"I am excited about the growth opportunities in our research and development pipeline, particularly our biologic" drug for high cholesterol.

During the quarter, the company bought back 17 million shares of stock for a total of $1.2 billion and increased its free cash flow to $2.2 billion, up from $1.4 billion a year earlier.

The company also raised its adjusted profit forecast for 2012 to $6.20 to $6.35, up from its spring forecast of $5.90 to $6.15 per share, and said it expects revenue of between $16.9 billion and $17.2 billion. Analysts had expected $6.17 per share on revenue of $16.4 billion.

Amgen's shares rose $3.04, or 3.8 per cent, to $82.33 after hours, on top of a 1.7 per cent gain in the regular trading session before the earnings announcement.