With fresh backing from one analyst and repeated "buy"ratings from three others, Amgen Inc. bounded up $3 a shareWednesday to close at $65 -- its highest close since March 3.
Merrill Lynch and Co. analyst Stuart Weisbrod threw hissupport behind Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), boosting hisintermediate-term rating to "above average" from "neutral"and raising his estimates of Amgen profits for this year andnext. He forecasts the company will earn $2.05 per share thisyear and $2.65 per share in 1993. The company reported onTuesday second-quarter profits of $71.6 million, or 49 cents ashare, on revenues of $261.3 million.
Biotechnology stocks overall did not fare as well Wednesday.The AMEX Biotechnology Stock Index dropped 1.22 to 158.54,fairly well mirroring the fall in the NASDAQ composite index,which lost 4.75 to close at 563.88. The Dow Jones industrialaverage fell 30.80 to close at 3,308.68.
Four large pharmaceutical companies -- Johnson & Johnson,Pfizer, SmithKline Beecham and Warner-Lambert -- reporteddouble-digit increases in second-quarter profits.
Among the biotechnology sector's gainers on Wednesday wereImmunex Corp. (IMNX), which rose $2 a share to close at $33,and Cor Therapeutics Inc. (CORR), which was up $1 a share to$12.25.
Losing ground were British Bio-Technology Group plc ADRs(BBIOY), each comprising two of the company's shares, whichdeclined $2 to close at $14; and Centocor Inc. (CNTO), which fell$1.25 a share to $14.75. Calgene Inc. (CGNE), the subject of aWall Street Journal article about sales of stock by companyofficials, closed down $1.13 a share at $12.38.
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