A Big Tax Break, But Not Stellar Sales, Helps Amgen Boost Q1 Profits

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Amgen ( AMGN) posted adjusted earnings for the first quarter that grew 22% and beat Street expectations. However, Amgen's bottom-line beat was driven largely by tax benefits and fewer outstanding shares but not revenue, which fell short.

Amgen shares are down 5% to $107.25 in after-hours trading, following the release of earnings.

Total revenue in the quarter grew 5% to $4.24 billion, below Street expectations of $4.37 billion. Almost across the line, all of Amgen's major products either just met consensus estimates or under-performed expectations.

Amgen's adjusted earnings for the March quarter were $1.96 per share -- beating the Street's consensus of $1.84 per share. A federal audit for tax years 2007-2009 significantly reduced the company's tax rate for the quarter, thereby boosting profits.

For guidance, Amgen said it expects 2013 adjusted earnings to be above the midpoint of the range of $7.05 to $7.35 per share, or slightly above the current consensus of $7.20 per share. But again, on all the all-important top-line, Amgen merely reiterated previous guidance calling for revenue in the range of $17.8 billion to $18.2 billion.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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