Amgen Inc. said strong sales of Epogen and Neupogen helped push1994 revenues to more $1.65 billion, a 20 percent increase over 1993revenues of $1.4 billion.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif., company reported net income for 1994of $320 million, or $2.29 per share, compared with $383 million, or$2.67 per share, for 1993.

The 1994 total included a one-time, $116 million charge in thefourth quarter (ending Dec. 31) for the acquisition of Boulder, Colo.-based Synergen Inc. Income for the quarter was $5 million, or 3cents per share compared with $91 million, or 64 cents per share, forthe same period the year before.

Amgen officials said that by excluding the charge for purchasingSynergen, it would have earned $436 million, or $3.12 per share, in1994 _ a 14 percent increase over 1993. Earnings for the fourthquarter without the Synergen write-off would have been $121million, or 87 cents per share, a 33 percent jump over the previousyear.

Barbara Hoffman, of Piper Jaffray Inc. in Denver, said Amgen'searnings were right in line with her projections. Other Wall Streetanalysts said the company's performance actually was a few centshigher than they expected.

Amgen's surge in annual revenues was fueled by strong fourthquarter sales of Epogen and Neupogen. Epogen, which boosts redblood cell production, is used to treat anemia associated with kidneydisease. Neupogen helps restore white blood cells in patientsundergoing cancer chemotherapy.

Worldwide sales of Neupogen in the fourth quarter were $220.5million, an 18 percent increase over the same period in 1993. Thecompany listed Epogen sales at $193 million for the quarter, a 20percent boost. For 1994, Epogen and Neupogen revenues were $721million and $829 million, respectively. The totals represented a 15percent increase over 1993 sales of Neupogen and a 23 percent hikefor Epogen.

Matthew Geller, of Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said heexpects continued double digit sales growth from Epogen andNeupogen in 1995. He projected Amgen's earnings to reach $3.70per share by the end of the year and estimated the share price will hit$74.

Amgen's stock (NASDAQ:AMGN) closed Wednesday at $62, down$1.62.

Hoffman said she expects Epogen sales to keep increasing over thenext two years and the prospects for Neupogen also are bright.

"Neupogen has been effective in increasing neutrophils," she said,"and now there is evidence it enhances their function."

As a result, Hoffman added, the drug's applications could includeinfectious diseases. Results are expected this year from a Phase IIItrial of Neupogen for community-acquired pneumonia.

In the takeover of Synergen, Amgen moved to acquire the strugglingcompany last November by offering to pay about $258 million, or$9.25 per share. Synergen had been looking for a buyer since thesummer of 1994 when its lead product, Antril, failed in clinical trialsfor sepsis. n

-- Charles Craig

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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