Amgen shares rise on profit gains

Sales of the biotechnology giant's anemia drugs fell in the second quarter, but higher earnings boosted the stock after hours.

NEW YORK ( -- Amgen reported a significant boost to second-quarter earnings Thursday after taking a large acquisition-related charge last year.

Biotech giant Amgen also announced that its experimental cancer drug denosumab met all its goals in a pivotal clinical trial of breast cancer patients.

Shares were gaining as much as 2 percent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.

Excluding certain items, Amgen earned $1.12 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.07 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Minus a $1.1 billion charge related to the company's purchase of cancer drug developer Abgenix last year, Amgen earned $1.05 a share in the second quarter of 2006.

Overall, Amgen saw a net profit of $1.02 billion, or 90 cents per share, compared with $14 million, or 1 cent per share, a year ago.

The world's largest biotechnology company in terms of sales, Amgen reported a revenue gain of 3 percent in the second quarter $3.7 billion, up from $3.6 billion a year ago. Sales of its anemia drugs sank 6 percent.

Amgen's (down $0.79 to $56.38, Charts, Fortune 500) stock is down 17 percent this year, hurt by concerns that its best-selling anemia drug Aranesp is unsafe and overused. This compares to a 4 percent gain by the American Stock Exchange Biotech Index year to date. Top of page