AZ, Amgen earnings flat; Shire sales leap


It's a mixed bag of drugmaker earnings reports today, with two biggies posting flat results and two smaller firms chalking up respectable gains.

  • AstraZeneca's profits suffered under restructuring costs and falling Nexium sales, reporting a $2.1 billion gain, 5 percent less than the same quarter last year. Sales were 10 percent higher at $7.7 billion, but much of that increase came from the weak dollar. Analysts and shareholders were unimpressed; UBS wrote that the "ramifications of [the first quarter results] could be far reaching."


  • Amgen's earnings were mostly flat: Net income of $1.14 billion compared with $1.11 billion a year ago, with accounting charges eating into earnings. Revenues, however, slid by 2 percent, to $3.61 billion. No big surprise, considering that sales of its biggest drug, Aranesp, free-fell by 25 percent; it and its sister med Epogen have been hamstrung by safety concerns for months now.
  • U.K. specialty pharma Shire posted a 33 percent hike in sales to $702 million, slightly ahead of analyst expectations. EPS was up to 22.7 cents from 21.3 cents during last year's first quarter. One sour note: The company estimated that its Vyvanse ADHD drug--which the company hopes will replace its soon-to-go-off-patent Adderall--would generate sales on the "lower end" of its predicted range of $350 million to $400 million.
  • Ireland's Elan also posted a big increase in sales--22 percent, to $214.7 million--but still reported a loss of $85.5 million. At least the loss is smaller than last year's $93 million. The revenue increase came from surging sales of its lead drug, the MS treatment Tysabri it co-markets with U.S.-based Biogen Idec.

- see the AstraZeneca piece in the Financial Times
- check out MarketWatch's story on Amgen
- read the Shire article at Orange