CEO Of The Year Nominees: 8) Kevin W. Scharer Of Amgen (AMGN)

24/7 Wall St. will name its annual CEO of the Year next week. The executive will be picked from a field of ten which we will profile this week

The CEOs are chosen on the basis of their company’s stock market and financial performances compared with their own industry groups and all large companies traded on US markets. Only firms with market caps of more than $5 billion were considered. 24/7 reviewed revenue growth, operating margins, balance sheets, return on assets, and return on equity.

At Amgen’s (AMGN) recent “sit down” with analysts, the biotech company said that  “Over the next five years we could have three more drugs achieve blockbuster status: Sensipar (cinacalcet), denosumab for osteoporosis and denosumab for cancer-related indications.” A tall order, but Amgen has delivered before.

In the last quarter, backing out charges, Amgen reported adjusted earnings of $1.23 a share versus $1.08 share a year earlier. Revenue rose 7% to $3.88 billion. Both numbers beat Wall St. estimates. Over the last year, AMGN shares are up 5% compared with a 35% drop in the DJIA.

Amgen has faced significant challenges in 2007 and 2008. Epogen and Aranesp, two of the firm’s important products, faced FDA challenges on safety. But, as a Morningstar analyst points out, Amgen markets four of the top 10 best-selling biologics in the world and has continued to be the strongest firms in the industry.

Amgen could have had a very rough year. Kevin Scharer has kept R&D yield ahead of challenges from generics and rocky issues with the company’s products.

Douglas A. McIntyre