U.S. biotech, Amgen (AMGN) announced a higher-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter reporting adjusted earnings per share of $3.81 beating the analyst estimate by 41 cents. Net profit for the quarter dropped 3% to $2.76 per share. Revenue increased 7% to $6.6 billion. Sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel decreased 5% to $1.27 billion in comparison to analyst’s estimate of $1.3 billion. Sales of new migraine drug, Aimovig generated $104 million for the quarter, lower than $115 million projected by analysts.
However, the sales for cholesterol fighter Repatha increased 27% to $253 million, beating Wall Street estimates of $223 million. Increased competition from cheaper generics and biosimilars affected sales of older drugs Neulasta, infection-fighter witnessing a 19% drop in sales to $536 million.
Amgen released 2021 earnings outlook below market estimate, expecting the net selling prices for its drugs to drop after witnessing a 6% drop in 2020. The company forecast adjusted earnings of $16.00 to $17.00 per share below analysts’ estimates of $17.03 per share. The full-year revenue forecast of $25.8 billion to $26.6 billion was in line with analyst projections of $26.45 billion. Amgen stated that physician-patient interactions remained below normal levels in the fourth quarter, and is expected to continue due to the pandemic.
The company said recovery later in the year is contingent on the speed and effectiveness of the global vaccination rollout. “We think COVID will be with us for the majority of 2021,” stated Amgen Chief Commercial Officer Murdo Gordon.
The company also paused three clinical trials of early-stage cancer drugs due to efficacy or safety issues.
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