By Deena Beasley
(Reuters) -Amgen, which is facing U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) delays to its planned acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, on Thursday reported higher quarterly profit on strong sales of treatments for cholesterol, osteoporosis and other drugs.
The biotech company, which slightly raised its outlook for full-year revenue and profit, said it currently expects the Horizon deal to close by mid-December.
For the second quarter, Amgen reported revenue of $6.99 billion, up 6% from a year earlier, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $6.68 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Earnings, excluding items, rose 8% to $5.00 per share, ahead of analyst estimates of $4.46 per share.
Product sales by volume grew 11% from a year earlier, but net selling prices fell 2%, while foreign exchange rates and lower inventory levels also limited revenue gains, Amgen said.
“We had nine products with record sales in the quarter,” Amgen Chief Financial Officer Peter Griffith said in a phone interview.
Quarterly sales of cholesterol drug Repatha totaled $424 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $372 million, while sales of osteoporosis drug Prolia reached $1.03 billion, compared with the $954 million analysts had forecast.
The results show some “bounce back” after a challenging first quarter that had raised investor fears about a slowdown in Amgen’s base business, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a research note.
Sales of Amjevita, Amgen’s biosimilar version of AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis drug Humira, totaled $150 million, short of Wall Street expectations of $204 million.
Amgen said U.S. Amjevita sales fell 63% from the first quarter, driven by a drawdown in inventory levels, while sales outside of the U.S. rose 13% from a year earlier.
The California-based company also reported positive results from a mid-stage trial of experimental drug tarlatamab in patients with advanced lung cancer. Amgen said it is discussing with regulators whether the data could be used to seek approval of the drug for patients with relapsed or refractory disease.
For the full year, Amgen modestly raised its outlook for adjusted earnings per share to a range of $17.80 to $18.80 from its prior forecast of $17.40 to $18.60. The company also increased its outlook for 2023 revenue to $26.6 billion to $27.4 billion from $26 billion to $27.2 billion.
Amgen said the forecast does not include any impact from the planned Horizon acquisition.
In a lawsuit, the FTC said it believed Amgen could leverage its big selling drugs to pressure insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to favor Horizon’s two key products – thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza and gout drug Krystexxa – over potential competitors.
“We look forward to making our case in court in September,” the CFO said.
Amgen shares were up about half a percentage point at $232 after hours.
(Reporting by Deena BeasleyEditing by Bill Berkrot)