Feb 1 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit well below Wall Street estimates, as a steep decline in sales of blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and higher-than-expected expenses hit results.
But the world’s biggest biotechnology company provided a 2018 earnings forecast range with a midpoint that easily exceeded analysts’ estimates and announced a new $10 billion share repurchase program and a lower effective tax rate due to U.S. tax reform.
The company posted a net loss of $4.26 billion, or $5.89 per share, as it took a $6.1 billion charge related to U.S. tax reform. That compared with a profit of $1.93 billion, or $2.59 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, Amgen said it earned $2.89 per share. Analysts on average expected $3.03 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by James Dalgleish)