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Biotech Stock News: Amgen Looks Upbeat, Beats on Q3 Earnings & Revenues

Amgen (AMGN) reported third quarter 2014 earnings of $2.30 per share, well above the Consensus Estimate of $2.06 and the year-ago earnings of $1.93. Earnings were driven by higher revenues and higher profitability on Enbrel. Total revenues increased 6% to $5,031 million in the third quarter of 2014, beating the Consensus Estimate of $4,918 million. Including one-time items, third quarter earnings declined 10% to $1.61 per share.

Third quarter total product revenues increased 4% from the year-ago quarter to $4,848 million (U.S.: $3,682 million, ex-U.S.: $1,166 million) with products like Kyprolis, Neulasta, Prolia and Xgeva driving growth. Unit demand was mainly responsible for growth with price also contributing to the same.

Revenues of Amgen’s erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) Aranesp grew 6% from the year-ago quarter to $474 million (U.S.: $188 million; ex-U.S.: $286 million) reflecting unit demand in ex-U.S. markets. Revenues of Amgen’s other ESA, Epogen, grew 5% to $518 million. Amgen reported stable unit demand.

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Worldwide revenues of Neulasta and Neupogen decreased 7% to $1,493 million in the third quarter. While Neulasta revenues grew 5% from the year-ago period, Neupogen recorded a 36% decline in revenues reflecting unfavorable year-over-year comparisons. Amgen had recorded a $155 million order for Neupogen from the U.S. government in the year-ago quarter.

Enbrel delivered revenues of $1,120 million, down 3% from the year-ago quarter due to unfavorable changes in inventory. There was an inventory build of about $60 million in the second quarter of 2014. Amgen said that Enbrel units grew 3% from the year-ago period and 5% sequentially.

The company has been taking steps to improve Enbrel’s performance which includes optimization of the sales force, higher direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and increased focus on appropriate access.

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Amgen continues to progress with its pipeline. The company is currently seeking marketing approval for evolocumab (cholesterol management), ivabradine (chronic heart failure), blinatumomab and T-Vec (both for cancer).

Amgen raised its guidance for 2014 yet again. The company now expects to earn $8.45 – $8.55 per share on total revenues of $19.8 billion – $20 billion. Earlier this year, the company had guided towards earnings of $8.20 – $8.40 per share on total revenues of $19.5 billion – $19.7 billion.

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