Amgen Sales Beat Estimates as Otezla Tested for Covid Treatment

(Bloomberg) -- Amgen Inc., maker of the blockbuster arthritis treatment Enbrel, saw sales increase in the first quarter as newer medications began to offset declining older drugs threatened by biosimilars.

  • Total revenue increased 11% to $6.2 billion in comparison to the first quarter of 2019, Amgen said Thursday. Adjusted earnings per share of $4.17 were up 17%, beating the median analyst forecast of $3.80. The company reaffirmed total revenue guidance for the year.

Key Insights

  • Amgen picked up the psoriasis drug Otezla in November from Celgene Corp. ahead of the company’s sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The purchase appears to have paid off: It generated $479 million of sales in the first quarter of 2020, edging ahead of analyst expectations of $477.7 million. Amgen also plans to test the drug as a potential treatment for Covid-19 patients who experience an overactive immune response. The company expects it will contribute to significant growth as the company explores other new uses.
  • Slashing the list price of Repatha appears to have helped stoke demand for the cholesterol fighter. Sales increased 62% compared to a year earlier, for $229 million in sales. Analysts expected $191.8 million in sales.
  • Sales of Enbrel were flat and in line with expectations at $1.15 billion, as biosimilars still threaten the drug’s sales.

Market Reaction

  • Amgen shares rose 2.4% to $244.85 in late trading.

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