Amgen 1st-quarter profit, sales fall; lower drug prices cited

April 27 (Reuters) - U.S. biotech Amgen Inc on Tuesday said its first-quarter sales and profit fell due to a 7% drop in its net drug prices and the COVID-19 pandemic, which continued to limit patient interactions with healthcare providers.

The company’s quarterly adjusted earnings per share fell 12% from a year earlier to $3.70, which was short of the $4.04 forecast by Wall Street analysts, as calculated by Refinitiv.

Revenue for the quarter fell 4% to $5.9 billion - also below analyst estimates of $6.26 billion. Net profit for the quarter fell 8% to $2.83 per share.

For the full year, Amgen said it still expects adjusted earnings of $16.00 to $17.00 per share on revenue of $25.8 billion to $26.6 billion, but lowered its net EPS forecast to a range of $9.11 to $10.71 from a previous $12.12 to $13.17. The company said it now expects a 2021 net tax rate of 14% to 15.5% - up from a previous estimate of 11% to 12.5%, while its adjusted tax rate is now forecast at 13.5% to 14.5%, compared with the previous 13% to 14%. (Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by David Gregorio)