Amgen Boosts Outlook as Headache Drug Shines, Sales Top Forecast

(Bloomberg) -- Amgen Inc. reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter results and boosted its earnings outlook, as the drugmaker tries to fight off competitors and find its balance on prices.

  • Revenue was $5.9 billion, topping the $5.78 billion expected by analysts. That was up 2 percent from a year earlier but shy of the second quarter’s $6.06 billion.

Key Insights
  • Sales of cholesterol fighter Repatha increased 35 percent year-over-year but missed estimates, bringing in $120 million when analysts expected $162.56 million. Last week, Amgen said it would cut the drug’s list price by 60 percent.
  • Amgen’s second-best selling drug, white-blood-cell booster Neulasta, missed estimates of $1.07 billion, bringing in $1.05 billion. A recently approved biosimilar from Mylan NV is encroaching on its turf; another rival from Coherus BioSciences Inc. is in the wings.
  • Recently approved migraine drug Aimovig was a bright spot, bringing in a better-than-forecast $22 million. The drug got FDA approval in May. “It’s going to be a really important drug for patients,’’ said Chief Financial Officer David Meline in an interview.

Market Reaction

Amgen shares were up about 1.2 percent in late trading in New York. The shares have risen 8.7 percent this year through Tuesday’s close.

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  • To read more details on the results, click here.

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