It was beginning to look like a decent year for Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) after the company blew past Wall Street estimates with its second-quarter results three months ago. Since then, though, Amgen has come under congressional scrutiny for its drug pricing. The stock has also given up all of its gains and then some.

Amgen announced its third-quarter results after the market closed on Wednesday. Was the big biotech's performance sufficient to excite investors? Here are the highlights from Amgen's Q3 update.

Smiling scientist in a lab.

Image Source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Amgen reported revenue in the third quarter of $6.4 billion, up 12% year over year. This result also topped the consensus Wall Street revenue estimate of $6.35 billion.

The company announced Q3 net income of $2.02 billion, or $3.43 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In the prior-year period, Amgen posted GAAP earnings of $1.97 billion, or $3.27 per share.

Amgen recorded non-GAAP adjusted earnings in the third quarter of $4.37 per share, a 19% year-over-year jump. This easily beat the average analyst earnings estimate of $3.80 per share.

The biotech also generated free cash flow totaling $3.2 billion in the third quarter. This matched the level announced in the prior-year period.

Behind the numbers

You can thank Otezla for most of Amgen's revenue growth. Bristol Myers Squibb's acquisition of Celgene last year prompted the divestiture of the blockbuster autoimmune disease drug. Amgen scooped up Otezla for $13.4 billion in cash. The drug raked in $538 for Amgen in the third quarter, accounting for over four-fifths of the big biotech's total revenue increase.

Amgen had other rising stars, though. Sales for migraine drug Aimovig soared 59% year over year to $105 million. Cholesterol drug Repatha pulled in $205 million, up 22% over its sales in the prior-year period. Osteoporosis drug Prolia and secondary hyperparathyroidism therapy Parsabiv achieved solid double-digit percentage growth.

Biosimilars Amjevita, Mvasi, and Kanjinti also delivered strong growth. So did Amgen's new osteoporosis drug Evenity.

However, several drugs continued to weigh on Amgen's overall growth. Sales for Enbrel, the company's top-selling product by far, slipped 3% year over year to $1.3 billion. Aranesp, Neulasta, Epogen, and Sensipar/Mimpara continued their sales declines as well.

Looking ahead

Amgen now anticipates full-year 2020 revenue of $25 billion to $25.5 billion. The upper end of this range is a little lower than the previous guidance of $25.6 billion.

The company looks for GAAP earnings per share for full-year 2020 of between $11.53 and $11.93, up from its previous forecast of a range of $10.73 to $11.93. Amgen expects non-GAAP earnings per share for 2020 will be between $15.80 and $16.15. It previously projected non-GAAP earnings per share would be between $15.10 and $15.75.

The coronavirus crisis remains the biggest variable affecting the biotech stock. Amgen stated that it continues to "expect quarter-to-quarter volatility due to the pandemic." It also faces ongoing headwinds from biosimilar and generic competition for several of its top drugs.

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