© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Amgen sign is seen at the company’s South San Francisco office.
By Deena Beasley (Reuters) – US biotech Amgen Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 said on Tuesday that its first-quarter sales and profits fell due to a 7% drop in the net prices of its drugs and the COVID-19 pandemic, which continued to limit patient interactions with healthcare providers. Amgen shares fell 3.4% to $ 246.50 after business hours. The company’s quarterly adjusted earnings per share fell 12% from a year earlier to $ 3.70, below Wall Street analysts’ $ 4.04 forecast, according to Refinitiv calculations. Revenue for the quarter fell 4% to $ 5.9 billion, also below analyst estimates of $ 6.26 billion. Net income fell 8% to $ 2.83 per share. “They are generally weaker in the first quarter due to seasonality in patient volumes and then rebound in the second quarter due to a recovery in purchasing patterns and patient volumes,” said the Jefferies analyst ( NYSE 🙂 Michael Yee in an email. For the full year, Amgen said it still expects adjusted earnings of $ 16.00 to $ 17.00 per share on revenue of $ 25.8 billion to $ 26.6 billion, but lowered its net EPS forecast to a range of $ 9.11 to $ 10.71 from a previous $ 12.12 to $ 13.17. The company said it now expects a net tax rate of 14-15.5% for 2021, up from a previous estimate of 11-12.5%. Your adjusted tax rate is now forecast at 13.5% to 14.5%, compared with 13% to 14% previously. “We felt the impact of the pandemic in January and February, and we began to see a recovery in March, a trend that appears to hold in April as well,” Amgen Chief Executive Robert Bradway said in a conference call with investors. Company officials said Amgen continues to expect the net sales prices of its drugs in 2021 to fall at a mid-single-digit rate due to increased competition, including cheaper generics and biosimilars. First-quarter sales of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel fell 20% to $ 924 billion, below analysts’ estimate of $ 1.1 billion. Sales of the new migraine drug Aimovig fell 7% from a year earlier to $ 66 million for the quarter, well below the $ 95.7 million projected by analysts. But sales of the cholesterol fighter Repatha rose 25% to $ 286 million, beating Wall Street estimates of $ 251 million. The US Food and Drug Administration granted priority review status to sotorasib, Amgen’s experimental lung cancer drug, in February. The company said Tuesday that it is studying different doses of the drug and expects to have data from combination studies in the second half of this year.