Amgen Meets Analyst Forecasts as It Fights Off Biosimilar Rivals

(Bloomberg) -- Amgen Inc., maker of the blockbuster arthritis drug Enbrel, reported first-quarter earnings that were mostly in line with analysts’ expectations, even as the company attempts to fight off biosimilar threats to its top sellers.

  • The drugmaker reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.56, above the median analyst forecast of $3.47. Total revenue of $5.56 billion compared with expectations of $5.54 billion.

Key Insights

  • While sales of Enbrel grew 4 percent to $1.15 billion, a threat from a type of generic competition looms. This week, Amgen sought to block a biosimilar version of Enbrel from Samsung Bioepis Co. from entering the market. It previously challenged a competing drug from Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit.
  • A bet to slash the list price of cholesterol fighter Repatha appears to be paying off. Sales increased 15 percent year-over-year in the first full quarter the drug was available at the new price. The $141 million in sales fell below expectations of $157 million, but when measured by volume Repatha surged.
  • Citing growth of new products and an expanding drug pipeline, Amgen raised the bottom end of it revenue guidance. It now expects total 2019 revenue of $22.0 billion to $22.9 billion, up from $21.8 billion to $22.9 billion.

Market Reaction

  • Amgen shares fell about 1 percent in late trading. They were down 7.9 percent this year through Tuesday’s close.

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