Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Amgen Inc. (AMGN) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Amgen is well positioned for growth with several blockbuster drugs in its portfolio. Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Vectibix, Nplate and Sensipar – are all performing well. Additionally, Amgen’s restructuring plan should make it leaner and more cost efficient. Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline, including biosimilar drugs. Amgen’s shares have outperformed the industry so far this year. However, the company has some challenges in store, given the presence of biosimilar competition and slowdown in sales of mature products. Volume growth of new drugs may not be enough to offset lost sales due to the decline in mature brands. Meanwhile, uptake of Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions. Estimates have gone up ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. Amgen has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

AMGN has been the subject of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Amgen from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $199.00 price target for the company. in a report on Friday, July 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $186.00 price target (up from $177.00) on shares of Amgen in a report on Friday, September 29th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a buy rating and issued a $203.00 price target on shares of Amgen in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Leerink Swann reiterated a market perform rating and issued a $161.00 price target on shares of Amgen in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and issued a $196.00 price target (up from $189.00) on shares of Amgen in a report on Friday, October 6th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $189.99.

Shares of Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) opened at 184.12 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $184.98 and a 200 day moving average price of $171.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $134.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.77 and a beta of 1.36. Amgen has a 12-month low of $133.64 and a 12-month high of $191.10.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $3.27 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.11 by $0.16. Amgen had a return on equity of 29.85% and a net margin of 35.46%. The business had revenue of $5.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.67 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.84 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Amgen will post $12.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, EVP Sean E. Harper sold 1,525 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $185.95, for a total value of $283,573.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Amgen by 0.6% in the first quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 636 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 4 shares during the period. Financial Advisory Service Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Amgen by 0.3% in the second quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc. now owns 1,974 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $340,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Amgen by 0.6% in the second quarter. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC now owns 1,103 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $190,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Ballentine Partners LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Amgen by 0.3% in the second quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC now owns 3,441 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $620,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Amgen by 0.5% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,921 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $330,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.08% of the company’s stock.

About Amgen

Amgen Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers various human therapeutics. It operates in human therapeutics segment. Its marketed products portfolio includes Neulasta (pegfilgrastim); erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), such as Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) and EPOGEN (epoetin alfa); Sensipar/Mimpara (cinacalcet); XGEVA (denosumab); Prolia (denosumab); NEUPOGEN (filgrastim), and other marketed products, such as KYPROLIS (carfilzomib), Vectibix (panitumumab), Nplate (romiplostim), Repatha (evolocumab), BLINCYTO (blinatumomab), IMLYGIC (talimogene laherparepvec) and Corlanor (ivabradine).

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