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

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published 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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Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on AMGN. ValuEngine cut Amgen from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. TheStreet cut Amgen from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 11th. Barclays dropped their target price on Amgen from $190.00 to $180.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Oppenheimer set a $205.00 target price on Amgen and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Atlantic Securities cut Amgen from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $187.01 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Amgen has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $190.57.

Shares of NASDAQ AMGN opened at $174.88 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 5.49, a quick ratio of 5.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35. The firm has a market cap of $114,595.02, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 1.36. Amgen has a 12-month low of $152.16 and a 12-month high of $201.23.

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

Amgen announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical research company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 17th will be issued a dividend of $1.32 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 16th. This represents a $5.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.02%. Amgen’s dividend payout ratio is presently 41.97%.

In other news, EVP Sean E. Harper sold 1,525 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $189.75, for a total transaction of $289,368.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 4,575 shares of company stock valued at $818,330. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. South Texas Money Management Ltd. raised its stake in Amgen by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 3,223 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $555,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. Glenview Trust Co raised its stake in Amgen by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 6,137 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,057,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Roberts Glore & Co. Inc. IL raised its stake in Amgen by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Roberts Glore & Co. Inc. IL now owns 7,425 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,279,000 after acquiring an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. raised its stake in Amgen by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 809 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Keel Point LLC raised its stake in Amgen by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 3,509 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $604,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.54% of the company’s stock.

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Amgen Company Profile

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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