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Bull of the Day

Amgen Inc's (AMGN) third quarter EPS of $1.66 per share was 23 cents above the Zacks Consensus Estimate and 19.4% above the year-ago period. Higher revenues, cost discipline and a lower share count contributed to the year-over-year increase in earnings. Revenues increased 9.5% to $4,319 million, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,199 million.

Amgen raised its guidance for 2012 again and now expects earnings in the range of $6.50 - $6.60 per share on revenues of $17.2 billion - $17.3 billion. Earlier, the company had guided towards earnings of $6.20 - $6.35 per share on revenues of $16.9 - $17.2 billion.

Based on the company's performance so far this year and the upbeat guidance, which should be easily achievable, we are upgrading Amgen to Outperform. Our $106 price target is based on 15.6x our 2013 earnings estimate.

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