* Amgen lowers 2012 EPS guidance by 10 cents
* Company expects to return to net cash position this year
* Amgen aims to enter Japanese market
* Shares fall 1 percent
By Deena Beasley
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc, the world’s largest biotechnology company, on Tuesday lowered its outlook for 2012 earnings per share by 10 cents, citing a delay in the impact of a U.S. tax credit for research and development.
The company, now expects full-year adjusted earnings of between $6.40 and $6.50 a share, Chief Executive Robert Bradway said here during a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. The tax credit was extended beginning this year, he noted.
Amgen will report 2012 results on Jan. 23.
Bradway, who took the helm of Amgen, said he feels good about momentum going into 2013, and said the company will outline its strategy at a Feb. 7 meeting investor meeting in New York.
Share repurchases and dividend increases helped Amgen produce a total return to shareholders of 36 percent last year, but the buybacks will taper off and the company expects a net cash position this year, Bradway said.
“Buybacks will moderate as we shift the focus to dividends,” he said.
He anticipates continued sales growth in Amgen’s franchise drugs as well as new products from its development pipeline.
BIND Biosciences announced on Tuesday that Amgen agreed to invest up to $180.5 million to help develop a cancer drug based on BIND’s nanomedicine platform, starting with an upfront payment of $46.5 million.
Amgen, which acquired Turkish pharmaceutical company Mustafa Nevzat last year, will also continue to expand internationally, Bradway said.
“We don’t yet have a presence in Japan, so Japan is clearly a focus,” he said, adding that Amgen plans to enter that market in an “effective, clever way.”
He also expressed interest in broadening Amgen’s investment in China, Brazil, Mexico and other nations with a growing middle class.
Shares of Amgen were down $1.03, or 1.2 percent, at $87.50 on Nasdaq. (Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Leslie Adler)