Biotech drugmaker Amgen Inc. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit more than doubled from a year ago, when a legal reserve charge weighed down results. It trounced Wall Street expectations and raised its profit forecast sharply.
"Our business has very good momentum, and we're executing on our strategy to grow our business," CEO Robert A. Bradway said in a conference call.
The Thousand Oaks-based drugmaker said net income was $1.11 billion, or $1.41 per share. That's up from $454 million, or 50 cents a share, in 2011's third quarter.
Adjusted income was $1.31 billion, or $1.67 per share. Analysts expected $1.48.
A year earlier, adjusted income was $1.28 billion, or $1.40 per share. That excluded a charge of $780 million, or 77 cents per share after taxes, for legal reserves to cover a proposed settlement of government and whistle-blower investigations into the company's marketing practices, including allegations of kickbacks.
Revenue totaled $4.32 billion, up 10 percent from $3.94 billion and above estimates of $4.24 billion.
Product sales increased 8 percent. Sales were driven by Enbrel, for immune disorders, up 17 percent to $1.08 billion. There also were big jumps for most of the company's newest drugs, including Prolia, for osteoporosis, and Xgeva, a different dose of the same active ingredient that prevents fractures in cancerous bones.
Sales rose 1 percent, to a total of $1.4 billion, for the company's biggest franchise, Neulasta and Neupogen, for fighting infection in cancer patients. Aranesp sales were down 17 percent to $497 million.
Company officials said they plan to keep operating expenses at or below revenue growth.
Bradway said fourth-quarter expenses should increase because of promotional activities and investment in trials for the osteoporosis bone growth drug Romosozumab (AMG 785) and for AMG 145, for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart attacks.
Amgen's strong financial performance prompted another update to its full-year guidance. It now expects 2012 revenues will be $17.2 billion to $17.3 billion -- up from $16.9 billion to $17.2 billion -- and adjusted earnings per share to be $6.50 to $6.60, up from $6.20 to $6.35.
"We delivered solid growth in revenue and earnings," Bradway said in a statement. "Our marketed products are performing well and we continue to make progress with key pipeline projects."
Shares of Amgen rose $1.21 to $88.53 in after-hours trading.
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