Amgen to whack 160 jobs

Amgen's earnings last week were not half bad. But they were not good enough to save the jobs of 160 employees whom the company says it will let go.

A week after turning in better than anticipated earnings, Amgen ($AMGN) says it will cut 80 jobs from its Thousand Oaks, CA, complex and another 80 from around the system, the Ventura County Star reports. A spokeswoman declined to give specifics but said the jobs generally involve "corporate and support functions." 

"Like all companies, Amgen has to adjust staffing levels to meet the needs of business," Kristen Davis told the news group. 

Amgen last week reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analyst expectations. Sales were up 11%. But much of that came from price hikes, and two of its biggest products--the anemia drugs Epogen and Aranesp--continued to lose ground on safety concerns. Neulasta and Neupogen, two of Amgen's other mainstays, saw combined sales fall 1% to $1.3 billion, because of biosimilar competition in Europe. 

That all was enough for RBC Capital's Michael Yee to tell Bloomberg that 2013 will be "a less exciting year" for Amgen, compared with 2012's "out-performance."

- read the Ventura County Star story