September 27, 2012 at 09:40 AM EDT
Brean Murray Starts Coverage on Amgen as a “Buy”; Long-Term Pipeline Looking Good (AMGN)

Biotech giant Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) on Thursday received some bullish commentary from analysts at Brean Murray Carret & Co.

The firm initiated coverage on AMGN with a “Buy” rating and $96 price target, suggesting a 15% upside to the stock’s Wednesday closing price of $83.46.

A Brean Murray analyst commented, “Amgen remains the largest biotechnology company in the world, both in terms of market capitalization and annual revenue. Amgen’s mature franchises are mostly in decline but still generating >$5B annually in operating cash flow, which the company has put to use, along with long-term debt to aggressively repurchase shares and, as of 2011, to distribute dividends to shareholders. These programs have been met with broad shareholder approval. Meanwhile, AMGN has made significant progress to revamp its late-stage pipeline. Since the beginning of 2011, AMGN has spent more than $2B in cash to bring in three Phase II/III compounds that complement its development and commercialization strategy. In the near term, we expect investors to focus mostly on the progress of Prolia/Xgeva’s market expansion. Over the longer term, we expect AMGN’s pipeline to drive investor sentiment.”

Amgen shares were mostly flat in morning trading Thursday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Amgen (AMGN) have a 1.73% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $83.46. The stock has technical support in the $77-$80 price area. The shares are trading near all-time highs.

Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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