Earnings update: Roche plateaus, Amgen stock slides despite solid performance
- Roche reported a 16% drop in profits for FY 2014 despite a 5% increase in sales. Meanwhile, Amgen's profits for Q4 2014 were up 27%.
- FY 2014 sales for Roche were roughly $51.8 billion, with major contributions from cancer drugs, including Herceptin, Perjeta, and Kadcyla; however, sales earnings were down due to debt restructuring and unfavorable international exchange rates.
- Amgen's Q4 2014 sales wre roughly $5.33 billion, representing a 6% increase compared with Q4 2013. Net income was roughly $1.3 billion.
One company met its goals, while the other company missed the mark. Nonetheless, the immediate reaction on Wall Street was to sell. It should be noted, however, that analysts from The Street are rating Amgen a buy, while the general consensus around Roche is one of "wait and see."
Roche is optimistic about the future, despite concerns about the impact of the Swiss franc. Currently, Roche has seven investigational drugs for five types of cancer in the pipeline. When its investigational Alzheimer's disease treatment, gantenerumab, failed, the company took a hit, but Roche is an R&D powerhouse with a solid future.
Amgen, the largest independent biotech in the world, keeps rolling. The company benefited when Congress renewed a pharmacy industry research tax credit, which bolstered fourth quarter sales even more. And it still has plenty to look forward to, including the launch of its PCSK9 cholesterol candidate evolocumab (which is expected sometime this year).