Amgen Q4 sales boosted by Prolia, Repatha; full-year forecast falls short of analyst estimates

Headline results for the fourth quarter:

Revenue

$6.2 billion (forecasts of $5.8 billion)

+7%

Product Sales

$6 billion

+8%

Profit

$1.9 billion

Versus loss of $4.3 billion

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"Through our continued solid operating performance in 2018, we met and exceeded our long-term financial commitments," remarked CEO Robert Bradway, adding "looking to the future, we are encouraged by our long-term growth prospects driven by our portfolio of newer products, pipeline and ongoing success in international expansion."

Other results:

  • Enbrel: $1.32 billion (forecast of $1.30 billion), down 8 percent, hampered by lower unit demand and lower net selling price
  • Neulasta: $1.2 billion (forecast of $1 billion), up 5 percent
  • Prolia: $655 million, up 14 percent
  • Aranesp: $474 million, down 3 percent
  • Xgeva: $456 million, up 17 percent
  • Sensipar/Mimpara: $448 million, up 8 percent
  • Kyprolis: $251 million, up 11 percent
  • Repatha: $159 million, up 62 percent, driven by higher unit demand, offset partially by lower net selling price
  • Aimovig: $95 million, analysts had forecast $50 million for the CGRP inhibitor, which was recently deemed not cost-effective for routine NHS use in draft guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Full-year revenue: $23.7 billion, versus $22.8 billion
  • Full-year profit: $8.4 billion, versus $2 billion

Looking ahead:

Amgen anticipates full-year earnings in the range of $13.10 per share to $14.30 per share on $21.8 billion to $22.9 billion in revenue. Analysts expected per-share earnings ranging from $14.57 to $14.61, on sales of $22.9 billion.

What analysts are saying:

Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said "the fourth quarter was a very strong result." However, the outlook for 2019 "reflects an expected year of uncertainty and some lack of visibility" regarding competition from biosimilar versions of Neulasta and Enbrel, he said. However, Yee noted that Amgen typically issues conservative financial forecasts at the beginning of the year, before raising them each quarter as actual results are reported.

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