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Amgen profits soar, ups guidance

By   /   Monday, July 27th, 2009  /   Comments Off on Amgen profits soar, ups guidance

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Amgen shares soared in after-hours trading Monday as the Thousand Oaks-based biotech giant reported sharply higher-second quarter profits and raised earnings guidance for the full year.

Amgen said it earned $1.29 per share on revenue of $3.7 billion, sharply higher than analyst estimates of $1.15 per share and revenue slightly below $3.6 billion. Amgen said it expects revenue at the upper end of its range of $14.4 billion to $14.8 billion and expects earnings per share to be $4.80 to $4.95, up from $4.55 to $4.75 per share.

The report is a vindication for Amgen’s aggressive cost-cutting during the past two years, as profit margins increased despite a 1 percent decline in revenue. The company has been laying off staff as well as contract workers at a number of locations, including its Thousand Oaks manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters.

Amgen shares were down slightly in regular trading Monday but kicked up $1.93 per share to $62.70 as of 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Amgen benefited from a lower-than-expected tax rate and better-than-expected revenue from its flagship drugs, including Aranesp and Enbrel. When some of those biologic drugs might come off patent and become available in lower-cost generic form is a hotly-debated topic as Congress weighs a major overhaul in the nation’s health-care system.

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