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We expect Amgen Inc. (AMGN - Analyst Report) to beat earnings expectations when it reports first-quarter 2013 results after the closing bell on Apr 23, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Amgen has the right combination of two key ingredients to beat earnings.

Positive Zacks ESP: The earnings Expected Surprise Prediction (ESP) (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) for Amgen is +1.14% – the difference between the Most Accurate earnings estimate of $1.77 per share and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.75 per share. This indicates a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Note that stocks with Zacks Rank of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. The Sell rated stocks (#4 and #5) should never be considered while going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of its Zacks Rank and Earnings ESP for Amgen makes us confident of a positive earnings surprise in the to-be-reported quarter.

Drivers of Better-than-Expected Earnings

This biotech company has delivered positive earnings surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 11.43%. Key growth drivers at Amgen include Enbrel, Xgeva and Prolia.

We are also impressed by Amgen’s efforts to expand in key markets. Moreover, the company’s moves to launch new manufacturing technologies coupled with the efforts to develop its pipeline are encouraging.

Other Stocks to Consider

Amgen is not the only company looking up this earnings season. Here are some other stocks you may want to consider as our model shows these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.08% and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +3.85% and holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

VIVUS Inc. (VVUS - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +11.77% and holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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