Shares in Amgen (NSDQ:AMGN) rose today after the pharmaceutical company met expectations on Wall Street with its 4th quarter results and touted data from a trial for its cholesterol drug, Repatha.
The Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company posted profits of $1.94 billion, or $2.59 per share, on sales of $5.97 billion for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for bottom-line growth of 8% on sales growth of 8% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were $2.89, ahead of consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $5.74 billion.
“We finished the year with strong operating performance,” chairman & CEO Robert Bradway said in prepared remarks. “We anticipate several new product development opportunities and launches in 2017, and are excited about the Repatha cardiovascular outcomes data we released today. We have established a firm foundation for longer-term growth.”
Amgen said it expects to post adjusted EPS of $11.80 to $12.60 on sales of $22.3 billion to $23.1 billion for 2017.
AMGN shares were trading at $166.12 apiece today in afternoon trading, up 4.1%.
The company touted data yesterday from a trial evaluating its cholesterol injection Repatha. The study found that the drug reduced the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiac death in a patient population with heart disease. The trial results are a victory for Amgen, since pharmacy benefit managers and health insurers have been rejecting 75% of Repatha prescriptions while awaiting more evidence of the drug’s benefits, Reuters reported.
In December, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a positive opinion for Amgen’s Repatha single monthly injection device. The device is already cleared in Europe for dosing every 2 weeks.
The hands-free device, with prefilled cartridges, delivers 420 milligrams of Repatha (evolocumab) in a single injection. Repatha, a human monoclonal antibody, inhibits a protein which is responsible for blocking the body’s system that naturally eliminates low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
If the device is approved by the European Commission, it would be the 1st inhibitor of its kind in Europe with a single monthly injection option. The FDA approved the single monthly injection device in July this year.