Markets & Finance

Robertson Stephens Raises Estimates on Amgen

Robertson Stephens raised its estimates on Amgen (AMGN) partly on the biotechnology firms's accelerating product sales. The company said its expects earnings per share to rise 20% in 2002 and sees compounded annual growth rate in the low-20% range for sales and earnings per share through 2005.

Analyst Michael King Jr. raised 2002 earnings per share estimate to $1.48 from $1.38 amd revenues to $4.65 billion from $4.58 billion on accelerating product sales growth and lower effective tax. This compares with $1.40 a share consensus. King sees most of the 2002 product sales growth coming from its Epogen/Aranesp franchise. While the company is not assuming Aranesp approval in oncology in 2002, it believes this is overly conservative and looks for sales in oncology to comprise a growing portion of product revenues in the second half of 2002. King reiterated his buy rating with a $77 target.

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