It's nice to see a company other than eBay
Amgen boldly stated it expects to earn between $1.70 to $1.80 per share next year, up about 26% from the $1.37 to $1.39 it'll earn this year. The company also raised its 2002 sales forecast, predicting sales growth in the low 40% range, up from the high 30s. Then it expects 2003 revenue of between $7.3 billion and $7.8 billion.
Amgen sells Epogen and its variation Aranesp for anemia, and Neupogen and variation Neulasta for cancer. Sales of the former two drugs could reach $3.4 billion next year; the latter two could hit $2.3 billion in 2003 sales, making Amgen's drugs among the best-selling in the world.
With its recent acquisition of Immunex Corp., Amgen got Enbrel, an arthritis drug with expected sales of $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion next year. Amgen has eight other drugs in its pipeline, including three drugs in phase III trials.
Amgen is the biotech company other biotechs aspire to be, even though it has never had a deep product offering, just two enormous hits. At $50 per share, the company has an enterprise value of about $65 billion, which is an aggressive multiple of about 50 times estimated free cash flow for the year. The stock is valued at 36 times the 2002 earnings-per-share estimate, and 28 times the new 2003 estimate. With 26% earnings growth expected next year, that 28 multiple may look about right.