reported a jump in third-quarter earnings, bolstered by strong sales across all three of its major drug franchises. The company also fine-tuned top-line sales guidance for the rest of the year.
The No. 1 biotech firm, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., reported third-quarter net income of $714 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $2.6 billion, or $2.10 per share, in the year-ago quarter. The large loss in the year-ago quarter was mainly due to write-offs stemming from the acquisition of Immunex.
On a non-GAAP basis, taking into account certain charges, Amgen earnings rose 56% to 53 cents per share in the third quarter, which beat analyst consensus expectations gathered by Thomson First Call by 2 cents per share.
Total revenue in the quarter was $2.2 billion, up 47% from the year-ago quarter and just ahead of analysts' consensus of $2.16 billion. Strong drug sales boosted Amgen's top-line results, most notably the anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen.
Third-quarter sales of Aranesp totaled $438 million, Epogen sales were $626 million -- both above Wall Street expectations. But sales of Neulasta and Neupogen, used to fight chemotherapy-induced infections, totaled $327 million and $330 million, respectively, falling slightly below consensus expectations.
Amgen also reported third-quarter Enbrel sales of $342 million, in line with expectations. Enbrel is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Monday, the Food and Drug Aministration approved a once-a-week Enbrel dosage, which is actually given via two injections.
Amgen tightened up sales guidance for the rest of the year, forecasting total revenue of $8.1 billion to $8.4 billion, compared with previous guidance of $8 billion to $8.5 billion. In this guidance, the company increased Aranesp/Epogen sales but kept estimates for Neupogen/Neulasta and Enbrel the same.
The company also reiterated 2003 earnings guidance of $1.85-$1.95 per share. Wall Street is currently looking for Amgen to earn $1.93 per share this year and $2.36 per share in 2004.
Prior to making its earnings announcement, Amgen closed Tuesday up $1.76, or 2.8%, to $63.65. The stock was falling in after-hours trading.