Amgen Inc. shares gained $1.25 on Tuesday to $71 after someanalysts raised their 1992 earnings-per-share estimatesfollowing a conference call with the company on Monday todiscuss 1991 financial results.
Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Sorell upped his estimate to$1.75 from $1.66 due to the continued growth of Neupogengranulocyte colony stimulating factor sales.
Denise Gilbert of Smith Barney also raised her estimate to $1.80from $1.65. Gilbert told BioWorld that she adjusted her figuresbased on Amgen's fourth-quarter figures, which were strongacross the board.
The changes bring these analysts closer to other Wall Streetanalysts who were already predicting higher numbers for thisyear. Brandon Fradd of Montgomery Securities is predicting1992 earnings of $2, one of higher Street estimates, up onlyslightly from his previous $1.96 estimate. Amy Berler of Alex.Brown & Sons is looking for $1.86 per share, and VectorSecurities International's Peter Drake expects earnings of $1.75.
The Thousand Oaks, Calif., company (NASDAQ:AMGN), whichthis year will become the first biotech company with $1 billionin product sales, told analysts that only 6 percent to 8 percentof eligible patients are receiving Neupogen, which restoreswhite blood cells after chemotherapy.
Drake predicted Neupogen sales will grow from more than$200 million last year to more than $400 million in 1992.Gilbert expects $545 in worldwide G-CSF sales, plus $500million in Epogen erythropoietin sales.
Shares of rival Immunex Corp. (NASDAQ:IMNX), which sellsLeukine granulocyte macrophage CSF, also gained, rising $4.75to $65.50. Spokesman Jason Rubin said the rise was apparentlyin anticipation of the Seattle company's presentation scheduledfor today at the Merrill Lynch Healthcare Conference.
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