Jan 29 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as sales rose and tax expense fell, but competition for older medicines is growing and the drugmaker forecast 2019 earnings below Wall Street estimates.
For the full-year, Amgen projected adjusted earnings of $13.10 to $14.30 per share on revenue of $21.8 billion to $22.9 billion. Wall Street analysts, on average, had forecast $14.61 per share on revenue $22.9 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The world’s largest biotechnology company posted a net profit of $1.93 billion, or $3.01 per share, compared with a net loss of $4.26 billion, or $5.89 per share, a year ago, when it took a large charge related to changes in U.S. corporate tax laws.
Excluding items, Amgen said it had adjusted earnings for the quarter of $3.42 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $3.27 per share.
Total revenue for the quarter rose 7 percent to $6.23 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $5.84 billion.
The rise in sales was driven largely by increased demand for medicines such as cancer drug Kyprolis, cholesterol fighter Repatha and osteoporosis treatment Prolia. (Reporting By Deena Beasley Editing by Bill Berkrot)