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Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)

AMGN

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Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.19, 5 cents below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but 3.5% above the year-ago period. However, Amgen provided better-than-expected guidance for 2012. The company expects earnings in the range of $5.90 - $6.15 per share on revenues of $16.1 - $16.5 billion.

Amgen also announced its intention to acquire Micromet. We have raised our 2012 earnings estimate by 48 cents to $5.94 per share. The upward revision in earnings estimates has pushed the Zacks Rank for Amgen to #2, which indicates a Buy rating in the short-term.

Based on the strong outlook for 2012, the upward revision in estimates and the Zacks Rank, we are upgrading the stock to Outperform. Share repurchases and cost control should help the company achieve at least the lower end of its guidance range.

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