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Amgen beats 2Q estimates
July 26, 2001: 6:14 p.m. ET

Biotech company beats earnings forecasts, but misses on sales
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Biotech company Amgen beat analysts' second-quarter earnings estimates by 2 cents, but came in well below revenue expectations.

Amgen (AMGN: Research, Estimates) said Thursday it earned $322 million, or 30 cents per share, compared to $303 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 6 percent from the same quarter a year ago to $859 million. Analysts surveyed by First Call on average expected sales of about $979 million.

The company said its sales growth was boosted by growth in its core anemia and chemotherapy infection treatments.

Amgen said it continues to expect 2001 sales and earnings per share, before special items, to increase by a rate in the low double digits from 2000 profits of $1.06 a share.

Amgen said it stands by those expectations regardless of the timing of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision on Aranesp, which is a longer-lasting version of Epogen. Aranesp was approved last month for sale in Europe as a treatment for anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, but U.S. approval is still awaited.

"The company posted good results for the quarter, although we are waiting with bated breath for approval of Aranesp in the U.S.," said Dennis Harp, an analyst with Deutsch Banc Alex. Brown.

Amgen lowered its guidance for combined sales of Epogen and Aranesp this year to a growth rate in the low double digits from a previous target rate in the low teens.

The analyst said Amgen is likely to comment later Thursday on whether it plans to move forward with clinical trials of an experimental treatment for Parkinson's disease, called NIL-A, after its partner, Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., announced lackluster results from a mid-stage trial of the drug. graphic

-- from staff and wire reports