UPDATE 3-Amgen again raises 2016 forecast in display of confidence

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July 27 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc on Wednesday posted higher-than-expected second-quarter profit on strong drug sales and again raised its full-year forecast in a clear signal of management confidence in the business.

The company is on track to meet or exceed its long-term objectives, Chief Executive Robert Bradway said in a statement.

Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company by market value, now expects 2016 adjusted earnings of $11.10 to $11.40 per share, up from its prior view of $10.85 to $11.20. Its midpoint is above of Wall Street estimates of $11.18 for the year.

The company, which significantly increased its earnings forecast in April, also raised its full-year revenue outlook and now expects $22.5 billion to $22.8 billion, up from $22.2 billion to $22.6 billion.

Excluding items, Amgen had adjusted earnings of $2.84 per share, topping analysts’ average expectations by 10 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“It’s consistent with the excellent performance they’ve been having,” Cowen and Co analyst Eric Schmidt said in a telephone interview. “Amgen’s had a really strong five of six quarters now.”

Revenue rose 6 percent to $5.7 billion, exceeding Wall Street estimates of about $5.6 billion, led by Enbrel, whose sales rose 10 percent to $1.48 billion, helped by price increases.

On a conference call with analysts, Amgen Chief Financial Officer David Meline said the company was looking at a number of interesting prospects for potential deals on new drugs that could close this year. “We’re in a financial position to be competitive,” he said.

Amgen said net profit rose to $1.87 billion, or $2.47 per share, from $1.65 billion, or $2.15 per share, a year ago.

Sales of the osteoporosis drug Prolia rose 30 percent to $441 million, sailing past Wall Street estimates of about $388 million. Sales of the multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis jumped 45 percent to $172 million, shy of analysts’ consensus forecast of about $185 million.

Sales of Amgen’s potent, expensive new cholesterol fighter Repatha remained anemic at just $27 million, largely held back by insurers refusing to cover the medicine for many patients.

The company is expecting data on Repatha later this year and in early 2017 that could encourage more reimbursement by insurers if results show that it reverses plaque buildup in arteries and prevents heart attacks and deaths. Repatha was approved on its ability to significantly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Richard Chang)