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Earnings Preview: Amgen

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Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) is scheduled to report its fourth quarter 2012 results on Jan 23, 2013 after the closing bell.

Last quarter, the company posted a 16.78% positive surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to the announcement.

Growth Factors in the Last Quarter

Last quarter, higher revenues, cost discipline and a lower share count contributed to the year-over-year increase in earnings. While we are encouraged by the company’s performance, we remain concerned about Amgen’s dependence on Prolia/Xgeva (denosumab) for long-term growth. With several key products expected to lose patent protection in the next few years, Amgen has a lot riding on Prolia/Xgeva’s successful commercialization and label expansion.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Amgen is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or at least Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Negative Zacks ESP: This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.37 while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is higher at $1.43. That is a difference of -4.20%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) : Amgen’s Zacks Rank of 3 however, increases the predictive power of ESP. That said we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident for an earnings surprise call.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) , Earnings ESP of +1.35% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Astrazeneca (AZN - Free Report) , Earnings ESP of +5.80% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Onyx Pharma Inc. , Earnings ESP of +19.05% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Sanofi (SNY) - free report >>

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) - free report >>

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) - free report >>

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