Looks like Amgen
HIV drugs from Gilead may be recession-proof, but cancer drugs from Celgene and Amgen's anemia and rheumatoid arthritis drugs aren't.
Amgen's sales fell 8% in the first quarter. The most troublesome loser was a 20% plunge in sales of rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel, which is sold in partnership with Wyeth
Amgen's anemia franchise is also hurting, but the economy can't take as much of the blame. Changes to Aranesp's label are mostly to blame for the 18% decline in sales of the blockbuster.
Earnings didn't look quite as bad, with earnings per share falling just 3%. The company is still sticking with its adjusted earnings guidance of $4.55 to $4.75 per share, but that looks like it may be difficult to make. At the low end Amgen is trading at less than 11 times guidance, which seems reasonable as long as Amgen can turn things around.
At this point Amgen seems to be just treading water, waiting for osteoporosis drug denosumab to be approved. If it can gain FDA approval later this year and show that the drug also works well in cancer patients, Amgen should be able to get back to growing revenue again -- even if the economy doesn't turn around.
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