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Earnings Preview: Amgen breaks its recent downtrend into Q4 results

Amgen (AMGN) is scheduled to report Q4 earnings after the market close on Wednesday January 23, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.39 on revenue of $4.37B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.33-$1.49 on revenue of $4.31B-$4.44B... LAST QUARTER: Amgen reported Q3 EPS of $1.67 against estimates of $1.47 on revenue of $4.3B against estimates of $4.3B. Amgen's Q3 total product sales increased 8% despite slowing sales in Prolia which were down 8% in Q3 sequentially. On January 8, at the JP Morgan healthcare conference, Amgen lowered its FY12 EPS view to 6.40-$6.50 from its prior guidance of $6.50-$6.60, citing a lack of R&D tax credit. On January 16, Amgen announced that top-line results of the Phase III Aranesp RED-HF study did not meet its primary endpoint...STREET RESEARCH: On January 22, Deutsche Bank said it expects Amgen to update its 2015 guidance at its business review meeting on February 7. Deutsche thinks the current 2015 earnings outlook of $7.25-$8.60 could be raised to $7.93-$9.25 due to more aggressive share buybacks. The firm notes the current consensus is at the low end of its new projected guidance range. Deutsche keeps a Buy rating on Amgen shares with a $108 price target... PRICE ACTION: Amgen shares are down around 5% since its Q3 report on October 23, but are currently up fractionally to $83.55 in today's early afternoon trading.