Amgen (AMGN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Kyprolis – are performing well.  Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline and expects approval and launch of migraine candidate, Aimovig this year. Amgen’s restructuring plan is making it leaner and more cost efficient. Lower taxes and share buybacks should provide some bottom-line support in 2018. Amgen’s shares have outperformed the industry this year so far. However, Amgen has some challenges in store, given slowdown in sales of mature drugs like Enbrel, Aranesp and Neulasta, which are facing an array of branded and generic competitors. Volume growth of new drugs may not be enough to offset the lost sales due to the decline in mature brands. Meanwhile, uptake of key new drug, Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions. However, estimates have gone up ahead of the Q1 earnings release. Amgen has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

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A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on AMGN. Citigroup downgraded Amgen to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Mizuho set a $192.00 target price on Amgen and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Piper Jaffray reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Amgen in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Vetr downgraded Amgen from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $184.25 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $205.00 price objective on Amgen and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Amgen presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $190.57.

Shares of AMGN traded up $3.80 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $175.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,118,524 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,883,812. The company has a market capitalization of $114,595.02, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.93, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 1.36. Amgen has a 1-year low of $152.16 and a 1-year high of $201.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35, a current ratio of 5.49 and a quick ratio of 5.17.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $2.89 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.03 by ($0.14). The business had revenue of $5.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.84 billion. Amgen had a net margin of 8.66% and a return on equity of 30.87%. Amgen’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.89 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Amgen will post 13.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Amgen announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical research company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Amgen news, EVP Sean E. Harper sold 1,525 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.18, for a total transaction of $265,624.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders have sold 4,575 shares of company stock valued at $818,330 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its position in shares of Amgen by 11.0% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 279,280 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $52,066,000 after acquiring an additional 27,726 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in shares of Amgen by 16.5% in the third quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 740,764 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $138,115,000 after acquiring an additional 104,871 shares during the period. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. bought a new stake in shares of Amgen in the third quarter valued at approximately $447,000. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC bought a new stake in shares of Amgen in the third quarter valued at approximately $2,353,000. Finally, Patten Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Amgen by 1,151.5% in the third quarter. Patten Group Inc. now owns 27,859 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $389,000 after acquiring an additional 25,633 shares during the period. 79.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Amgen

Amgen Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers human therapeutics worldwide. It offers products for the treatment of oncology/hematology, cardiovascular, inflammation, bone health, nephrology, and neuroscience. The company's products include Evenity to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women; Prolia to treat postmenopausal women with osteoporosis; Xgeva for skeletal-related events prevention; Repatha to treat coronary diseases; Enbrel to treat plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis; Parsabiv to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism (sHPT); and Aimovig for the prevention of migraine.

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