Amgen's 4th-quarter profit leaps 30% on higher sales

Amgen Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit jumped 30% because of higher sales for nearly all its drugs, an acquisition and a tax benefit.

The world's biggest maker of biologic drugs said Tuesday that its net income was $1.02 billion, or $1.33 a share, up from $788 million or $1.01, a year earlier.


Excluding one-time items, the Thousand Oaks company said earnings amounted to $1.39 billion, or $1.82 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting $1.69 a share.

Revenue totaled $5.01 billion, up 13%. Analysts expected $4.81 billion.

Amgen shares rose $2.18, or 1.8%, to $120.70.

Sales were led by Neulasta and Neupogen for boosting infection-fighting white blood cells, up 8% to a combined $1.41 billion. Sales of immune disorder drug Enbrel rose 3% to $1.12 billion.

Six other established drugs saw sales increases of 10% or more. Those included osteoporosis drug Prolia, touted in ads by actress Blythe Danner.

Only anemia drug Aranesp had lower sales, down 4% to $180 million.

Sales were boosted by Amgen's $9.7-billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Oct. 1, part of the company's strategy to become a major player in the market for pricey cancer drugs. Onyx's Kyprolis, a treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma, posted sales of $71 million.

Last week Amgen announced that a late-stage patient test of Evolocumab, for stubbornly high cholesterol, met the study's two main goals for reducing the absolute level of bad, or LDL, cholesterol and for the average percent reduction. It was tested along with a statin, the widely used cholesterol drugs that include Lipitor and Crestor. Amgen plans to disclose details later at a medical conference and in a medical journal.

The company forecast 2014 adjusted earnings per share of $7.90 to $8.20 and revenue of $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion.

For the full year, Amgen reported net income of $5.08 billion, or $6.64 a share, on revenue of $18.68 billion.