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Stockwatch: Amgen; a smoking stock?

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

The first major biotech company announced first quarter 2011 earnings on 20 April and then on 21 April announced that it would pay its first dividend, although not quite yet. That one of the buttresses underpinning the biotechnology firmament is paying money to shareholders should have ramifications, at least of a philosophical nature, across the entire biotech and pharmaceutical landscape. While investors and analysts were focussed on the progress of Amgen’s most recently launched drug for bone cancer denosumab (Xgeva), the news that Amgen was to break the habit of a lifetime might leave investors and entrepreneurs, well, ... gasping.

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