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Updated from 4:49 p.m. EDT



first-quarter sales rose 14% from a year ago, but Wall Street was looking for an even better performance from the world's second-biggest biotechnology company.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif., company said after the close Tuesday that revenue totaled $3.22 billion in the quarter, up from $2.83 billion in the same period a year ago. However, on average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for $3.34 billion in the latest quarter.

Finding the culprit for the disappointment wasn't difficult, as several of Amgen's biggest drugs turned in weaker-than-expected numbers.

Sales for the anemia drug Aranesp were up 24% to $893 million, but analysts were expecting $907 million. Enbrel's sales increased 11% to $658 million, while the estimate was $716 million.

The blood drugs Neulasta and Neupogen were also light, but Epogen had a better result than analysts anticipated. Sales of the anemia drug were up 4% to $604 million, surpassing expectations by $8 million.

The sales miss marked the third quarter in a row that Amgen has fallen short on the top line.

Amgen earned $1 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the quarter, when its results were calculated using generally accepted accounting principles. The company made $854 million and 67 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding stock-option expenses and acquisition costs, earnings would have been $1.1 billion, or 91 cents a share, in the most recent quarter. On that basis, Amgen beat estimates by 2 cents.

"We are off to a good start in 2006," said Amgen Chairman and Chief Executive Kevin Sharer. "We saw continued growth in our marketed products, and we completed our

Food and Drug Administration submission for panitumumab in third-line metastatic colorectal cancer, bringing us another step closer to making this important medicine available to patients. We also finalized our acquisition of Abgenix, which will allow us to fully realize the value of panitumumab as we develop this important cancer therapeutic for additional indications."

For the full year, Amgen is projecting an adjusted profit of $3.60 to $3.70 a share. The low end of the range is 5 cents better than its previous guidance. The consensus analyst estimate is $3.62.

During a conference call, Amgen executives said they expect to receive FDA approval for panitumumab for metastatic colorectal cancer in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Shares of Amgen edged lower in extended trading. Lately, the stock was slipping 43 cents, or 0.6%, to $70.54. With a current market capitalization of about $84.1 billion, Amgen trails only



, at $84.9 billion, in size.