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Two firms improve earnings

Times-Call staff and wire reports

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Amgen reported Tuesday that improved sales of all of its drugs helped the company post a 45 percent increase in first quarter income and a 75 percent increase in revenue over the same period last year.

The company said net income for the first quarter was $493 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with $341 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago.

First quarter revenue was $1.76 billion, compared with $1.01 billion a year ago.

The company’s “adjusted” earnings, which exclude charges related to the acquisition of Immunex Corp. last July, were $558 million, or 42 cents per share.

Amgen’s earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations by 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial First Call.

Due to the strong sales of its drugs that treat anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, the company announced it was raising its earnings projections for the entire year by a full 10 cents — to between $1.80 and $1.90 per share.

Amgen is still involved in a court battle with Medicare, which announced it would cut in half what it pays for Amgen’s anemia drug, Aranesp. Amgen contends that decision could cost the company $100 million a year.

MILPITAS, Calif. — Computer hard-disk drive maker Maxtor reported a decline in revenue for the most recent quarter, but net income was up compared with a year ago.

The company reported revenue for the most recent quarter of $938.9 million, compared with $1.036 billion during the same period a year ago. However, net income for the first quarter of 2003 was $27.4 million, compared with a net loss of $65 million during the same quarter in 2002.

Based on generally accepted accounting principles, earnings per share for the quarter were 11 cents, compared with a loss of 27 cents per share for the first quarter of 2002.

Among the factors the company cited for its turnaround were reduced expenses and increased sales of its hard drives to consumer electronics manufacturers.

LOUISVILLE — Storage Technology Corp. reported its 11th-straight quarter of year-over-year earnings improvements this week. The company also reported that it is on pace to meet its earnings projections for the year.

The data storage company reported net income of $16.5 million for the first quarter, or 15 cents per diluted share. During the first quarter of 2002, StorageTek reported net income of $6 million, or 6 cents per diluted share.

Revenue for the quarter was $480 million, compared with $455.9 million for the first quarter of last year.

“The strategy we have embarked upon is clearly taking hold,” said company chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Pat Martin in a statement announcing the earnings.

Late last month Martin has his contract renewed by StorageTek’s board of directors for at least another two years, through June 2006.