April 30, 2019 / 8:08 PM / a year ago

Amgen revenue flat for first quarter, Aimovig, Repatha fall short of sales expectations

April 30 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported first-quarter revenue that was unchanged from a year ago and net income fell 14 percent as sales of key drugs, including new migraine treatment Aimovig and cholesterol fighter Repatha, face competition and pressure to lower prices.

But the world's largest biotechnology company still raised the lower end of its full-year earnings and sales forecasts as adjusted profit topped expectations.

Excluding items, Amgen's adjusted earnings were $3.56 per share. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected $3.47, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell 14 percent to $2 billion as costs for manufacturing as well as research and development increased.

Revenue for the quarter of $5.56 billion showed no growth but was in line with analyst estimates.

Aimovig sales totaled $59 million for the quarter, short of the $83.3 million projected by analysts and down from $95 million in the fourth quarter.

Sales of Repatha at $141 million also came in below Wall Street estimates of $158.7 million.

Higher unit demand for Repatha was "offset substantially" by lower net prices, Amgen said. The company recently launched a lower-priced Repatha option aimed at reducing out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients.

Aimovig competes with similar new migraine drugs from Eli Lilly and Co and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd for placement on pharmacy benefit plans, which typically demand discounts or rebates from the list price in exchange for coverage.

Faced with new competition, first-quarter sales of Amgen's kidney drug Sensipar fell 57 percent to $213 million, below the $353.4 million forecast by analysts.

For the full year, Amgen said it now expects adjusted earnings per share of $13.25 to $14.30 on revenue of $22 billion to $22.9 billion, compared with previous forecasts of $13.10 to $14.30 per share and revenue of $21.8 billion to $22.9 billion. (Reporting By Deena Beasley Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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