What to Watch When Amgen Reports Earnings

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Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results after the markets close on Thursday. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $2.79 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.73 billion in revenue. The third quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $2.72 and $5.72 billion in revenue.

This biotech giant posted outstanding second-quarter earnings, and it remains a top stock for investors to buy. Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, reaching millions of patients around the world and developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

The company posted revenues above expectations and showed strong expense management in the previous quarter. It also raised guidance for revenues and earnings, and many on Wall Street think the numbers could be conservative. However, the caveat is that this stock has underperformed for the year, so buyer beware.

Many on Wall Street point to the company’s tremendous pipeline and outstanding forward earnings and revenue capabilities. Amgen’s double-digit earnings and revenue growth rate is expected to continue for the foreseeable future because of the company’s very deep clinical pipeline, which includes potential blockbusters Repatha for high cholesterol and Kyprolis for relapsed multiple myeloma. Amgen also has one of the industry’s deepest biosimilar pipelines, which is expected to generate upward of $3 billion in annual sales in the years ahead.

A few analysts weighed in on Amgen ahead of the earnings report:

  • Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating.
  • Citigroup has a Neutral rating with a $172 price target.
  • JPMorgan reiterated a Hold rating.
  • Goldman Sachs reiterated a Buy rating with a $206 price target.
  • BMO Capital Markets reiterated an Outperform rating with a $190 price target.
  • Leerink Swann reiterated a Hold rating.
  • Credit Suisse has a Buy rating with a $206 price target.
  • Piper Jaffray has a Buy rating with a $193 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley reiterated an Overweight rating with a $198 price target.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Amgen has underperformed the broad markets with the stock down about 2% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the number is incredibly similar.

Shares of Amgen were trading up over 1% at $160.81 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $189.41 and a 52-week trading range of $139.02 to $176.85.