REUTERS: Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as sales of newer drugs offset lower revenue from older off-patent medications, but the biotech company forecast 2021 earnings below Wall Street estimates.
For the full year, Amgen said it expects adjusted earnings of US$16.00 to US$17.00 per share on revenue of US$25.8 billion to US$26.6 billion. Analysts were looking for US$17.03 per share on revenue of US$26.45 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amgen said physician-patient interactions remained below normal levels in the fourth quarter and it expects that to continue through 2021.
In a statement, the company said recovery in the latter part of the year is contingent on the speed and effectiveness of the global vaccination rollout.
For the fourth quarter, Amgen reported adjusted earnings per share of US$3.81, beating the average analyst estimate of US$3.40 per share. The number of Amgen shares outstanding fell 13per cent from a year earlier.
Net profit for the quarter fell 3per cent to US$2.76 per share.
Quarterly revenue rose 7per cent to US$6.6 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates.
Sales of older rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel fell 5per cent to US$1.27 billion, shy of analysts' estimate of US$1.3 billion.
Sales of newer migraine drug Aimovig totaled US$104 million for the quarter, short of the US$115 million projected by analysts. But sales of cholesterol fighter Repatha rose 27per cent to US$253 million, beating Wall Street estimates of US$223 million.
Sales of Neulasta, which fights infections by boosting white blood cells, fell 19per cent to US$536 million, while sales of kidney drug Sensipar dropped 58per cent to US$45 million in the face of increased competition from cheaper generics and biosimilars.
Amgen, which produces its own biosimilar versions of drugs from rival companies, said sales of those medicines rose in the fourth quarter.
(Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Bill Berkrot)