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Amgen Says Share Earnings Will Be Less Than Expected

November 21, 2000|BARBARA MURPHY

Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, the world's largest biotechnology company, said it expects to generate as much as $9 billion in revenue and have at least five new products on the market by 2005.

Still, the company said earnings-per-share growth next year will be in the "mid-teens," less than analysts' forecast. The company attributed the shortfall partly to a higher tax rate and costs from a recent acquisition.

Amgen gave the forecast in a meeting with investors and analysts in New York. Investors have been eager to hear details on how Amgen plans to make up for weakening sales expected of its two biggest drugs, the anemia drug Epogen and the white blood cell stimulator Neupogen.

Amgen has been expected to earn $1.26 a share this year, based on the average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial. The company expects to earn $1.06 to $1.08 this year and said earnings growth will accelerate after next year.

Amgen reported revenue of $3.3 billion in 1999 and $2.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year.

Amgen said it expects approval from the Food and Drug Administration of its Aranesp anemia drug in the first half of 2001 and plans to pursue four additional uses for the drug.

The company is seeking approval for the drug's use in anemic patients on dialysis and those who aren't yet in need of dialysis.

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