Amgen fourth-quarter profit tops Street view, but 2017 outlook light


Amgen Inc on Thursday posted a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by a jump in sales of its Enbrel rheumatoid arthritis drug, but it issued a 2017 sales and earnings forecast range below current Wall Street estimates.

The world's largest biotechnology company said net profit in the latest quarter rose to $1.94 billion, or $2.59 per share, from $1.8 billion, or $2.37 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding special items, Amgen said it earned $2.89 per share. Analysts on average had expected $2.79 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also announced that its Repatha cholesterol drug reduced the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiac death in a huge, long-awaited study of patients with heart disease, sending its share more than 3 percent higher.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot, editing by G Crosse)