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Amgen profit up on strong drug sales

Amgen Inc. on Tuesday said its first-quarter profit rose 17 percent on increased sales of its drugs to treat anemia and arthritis.
/ Source: Reuters

Amgen Inc. on Tuesday said its first-quarter profit rose 17 percent on increased sales of its drugs to treat anemia and arthritis.

The world's largest biotechnology company posted a net profit of $1 billion, or 82 cents per share, compared with a profit of $854 million, or 67 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company earned 91 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 88 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Amgen shares have fallen about 10 percent so far this year after a 23-percent climb in 2005. By comparison, the broader American Stock Exchange biotech index is virtually unchanged for the year, while shares of rival biotechnology giant Genentech are down about 12 percent.