October 30, 2018 / 8:08 PM / a year ago

Amgen quarterly net profit falls as expenses increase; EPS rises

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc on Tuesday said its third quarter profit fell as higher expenses offset a lower tax rate and price concessions kept sales of its cholesterol drug Repatha below Wall Street estimates.

But adjusted earnings per share, helped by stock buybacks, rose 13 percent to $3.69 for the quarter. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected $3.45 a share, according to Refinitiv data.

The world’s largest biotechnology company posted a net profit of $1.86 billion, or $2.86 per share, compared with a profit of $2.02 billion, or $2.76 per share, a year ago.

Amgen last week said it slashed Repatha’s U.S. list price by 60 percent to $5,850 a year, mainly to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients on Medicare, the federal government’s health plan for seniors.

Third quarter sales of Repatha totaled $120 million, down from $148 million in the second quarter, and short of the $166 million forecast by analysts, as compiled by Refinitiv.

Sales of blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel slipped 5 percent, but still came in at $1.29 billion.

Amgen’s total revenue for the quarter rose 2 percent from a year earlier to $5.9 billion. Operating expenses, including research and product launch costs, rose 7 percent to $3.58 billion.

The company raised its full-year earnings forecast to between $14.00 and $14.25 per share from a previous $13.30 to $14.00. That puts the midpoint above Wall Street estimates of $14.01.

Amgen also said it expects total revenue for the year of $23.2 billion to $23.5 billion, up from $22.5 billion to $23.2 billion. (Reporting by Deena Beasley Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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