Amgen, one of the biggest biopharmaceutical companies in the world, continued to see growth in the third quarter of 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Thousand Oaks-based company saw total revenue of $6.4 billion for the quarter, up 12 percent from the third quarter of 2019. Earnings per share increased 5 percent to $3.43. Both figures beat most analysts’ estimates.
The earnings report, released Oct. 28, was Amgen’s first since it joined the Down Jones Industrial Average at the end of August.
The company said in a press release the increase in revenue was “driven by higher volume growth, partially offset by lower net selling prices and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Analysts expected Amgen to see earnings growth, and the company exceeded those expectations. The earnings report was released after the markets closed. Amgen’s stock spiked briefly in after-hours trading and then returned to its closing price of $216.38.
Zacks Equity Research estimated Amgen would report revenue up 11.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, while the analyst consensus according to FactSet called for $6.38 billion in revenue for the quarter and earnings of $2.90 per share.
“Clearly the pandemic remains an important factor affecting performance for Amgen, and for our industry,” Amgen chairman and CEO Bob Bradway during the company’s earnings call. “Performance in the third quarter reflects an encouraging recovery from the depths of the pandemic, and was largely consistent with what we anticipated.”
The company also generated $3.2 billion of free cash flow in the third quarter versus $3.2 billion in the third quarter of 2019, while cash and investments totaled $12.4 billion and outstanding debt totaled $34.3 billion at the end of the third quarter.
Total product sales increased 12 percent versus the third quarter of 2019, driven by 18 percent volume growth, offset by a small decline in prices.
The osteoporosis drug Prolia generated sales 11 percent higher than the previous year, at $487 million, as patients returned for treatment and the rate of diagnosis returned to about 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Otezla, which Amgen acquired in November of 2019 from Celgene Corporation in New Jersey, reported sales of $538 million in the third quarter of 2020.
Aimovig sales had the biggest increase with a 59 percent increase versus the third quarter of 2019, totaling about $105 million in sales.
Enbrel sales decreased 3 percent year-over-year due to declines in volume. Neulasta had one of the biggest decreases with a 22 percent decrease compared to the third quarter of 2019.
Amgen’s total operating expenses increased 22 percent while its operating margin decreased 5.1 percent and its tax rate decreased 5.2 percent.
For the full year of 2020, Amgen now expects total revenue in the range of $25.1 and $25.5 billion and earnings per share between $11.53 and $11.93.