Amgen Inc. (AMGN)

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Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)

Q4 2009 Earnings Call

January 25, 2009 5:00 pm ET


Kevin Sharer - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Bob Bradway - Chief Financial Officer

George Morrow - Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Operations

Roger Perlmutter - Executive Vice President of Research & Development

Arvind Sood - Vice President of Investor Relations


Chris Raymond - Robert W. Baird & Co.

Jeff Meacham - JP Morgan

Eric Schmidt - Cowen & Co.

Jeff Porges - Bernstein

Mark Schoenebaum - Deutsche Bank

Jim Birchenough - Barclays Capital

Steve Harr - Morgan Stanley

Michael Aberman - Credit Suisse

Yaron Werber - Citi

Rachel McMahon - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Eun Yang - Jefferies & Co.

May-Kin Ho - Goldman Sachs

Michael Yee - RBC

Maged Shenouda - UBS



My name is Christen and I will be your conference facilitator today, for Amgen’s fourth quarter and full year 2009 financial results conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. There will be question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the last speaker’s prepared remarks. (Operator Instructions)

I’d now like to introduce Arvind Sood, Vice President of Investor Relations. Mr. Sood, you may now begin.

Arvind Sood

Thank you Christen, good afternoon everybody. I would like to welcome you to our Q4 and full year 2009 results conference call. The objective of the call is to review our solid earnings performance in ’09 and focus on our outlook for 2010. In addition to growing earnings last year, we generated a record amount of operating cash flow and made meaningful progress towards advancing our pipeline.

We amongst our peer group of companies are in a unique position of having several regulatory and clinical catalysts ahead of us in the New Year. To discuss each of these topics in detail, I’m joined today by Kevin Sharer, our Chairman and CEO. Kevin will provide a strategic outlook for our business, followed by our CFO, Bob Bradway, who will discuss our results for 2009 and provide expected growth outlook for 2010.

George Morrow, who as you knows is our Head of Global Commercial Operations, will then discuss our product performance during the last quarter and after some thoughts and launching Prolia and then our Head of R&D Roger Perlmutter, will provide a regulatory update including progress on denosumab registrational programs as well as a pipeline update on our Phase 3 products in particular.

We will use slides for our presentation today. These slides have been posted on our website, and a link was sent to you separately by email. I would like to remind you that our comments today will be governed by our Safe Harbor statement, what that means in summary is that through the course of our presentation today, we may make certain forward-looking statements and actual results could vary materially.

We will use non-GAAP financial measures to help you understand our underlying business performance. These non-GAAP figures have been reconcile with GAAP figures in the press release that we sent earlier.

So with that, I would like to turn the call over to Kevin.

Kevin Sharer

Thank you, Arvind. Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us today. As we reflect on 2009, I’d like to make a few comments. First the macroeconomic environment was the most challenging we have seen in our 30 year history, while no one can be fully satisfied with a revenue decline even a modest one coming within a percent of the low end of our original revenue guidance in this environment was admirable.

We once gain meaningfully grew earnings per share and over the most recent five year period, which includes the ESA business reset we’ve grown earnings per share at 15% compound annual growth rate, a very solid performance. We advanced the pipeline meaningfully in 2009, highlighted by recommendation for Prolia approval in Europe and a 15 to 0 FDA Advisory Panel Vote to recommend approval in the United States.

We also managed expenses in cash effectively as Arvind mentioned and generated over $6 billion in operating cash flow to invest and growing a business and returning cash to shareholders. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my colleague at Amgen for their tireless efforts in 2009 on behalf of patients and shareholders.

Let’s now turn to the current year 2010. 2010 is an important year. First, we will learn the course of healthcare reform. Today it is impossible to consistently predict its course, so we have not included estimates about his possible financial consequences in our guidance. However, it is hard to imagine that what we saw a month ago will come to pass.

Second, we predict for Amgen, a return to top line growth and another solid year of earnings per share growth with strong cash generation. We expect and are ready to launch Prolia worldwide. Predicting the exact timing of the approvals is challenging. However, we are not aware of any major issues. That said, predicting within a few months the exact timing is not possible.

The most important points are that, we expect approval and we are ready. I’d like to announce today that, we have now submitted the information requested by the FDA and Prolia Complete Response Letter for Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. Also important clinical results are fourth coming this year, particularly, the prostate SRE III trial. Roger will comment on the expected 2010 pipeline key events.

We also expect the number of ESA related important events this year including REMS, MEDCAK and Cardiac on which George will comment. We will continue to be efficient and look to deploy our strong balance sheet and cash flow to serve more patients and overtime increase our top line growth rate. A few final thoughts before I turn it over to Bob.

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