Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Once an acquisition giant, Valeant has been caught up in various controversies due to price hike of specialty drugs, erroneous financial reporting and termination of contracts with Philidor Rx Services. After a tumultuous period, Valeant started a rebuilding process with its new CEO, Joseph C. Papa. Even though it is still early to comment on the rebuilding process, but the company’s efforts to sell non-core assets and pay down huge levels of debt is commendable. The company reduced its debt by $4.8 billion and expects to meet its target of $5 billion debt reduction ahead of schedule. The GI business continues to struggle with weak sales of Xifaxan but should see gain in market share with an increased sales force. Valeant trimmed its guidance due to recent divestitures. However, weakness in the dermatology business persists. Shares have underperformed the industry.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Guggenheim began coverage on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. Mizuho restated an “underperform” rating and issued a $8.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Canaccord Genuity set a $14.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Rodman & Renshaw restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $17.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald set a $23.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.68.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) opened at 14.29 on Thursday. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a 12 month low of $8.31 and a 12 month high of $24.30. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.98 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $14.02 and its 200-day moving average is $13.51.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.08. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International had a negative net margin of 12.40% and a positive return on equity of 59.89%. The company had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.23 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted ($0.88) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Schutter Richard U. De acquired 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 21st. The stock was bought at an average price of $14.33 per share, for a total transaction of $143,300.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 77,479 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,110,274.07. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 5.87% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VRX. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 51,500 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $568,000 after acquiring an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP bought a new stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in the 1st quarter valued at $459,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 407,421 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $4,494,000 after acquiring an additional 8,944 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in the 1st quarter valued at $759,000. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 31.3% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 44,149 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $487,000 after acquiring an additional 10,534 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 50.48% of the company’s stock.

About Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc is a pharmaceutical and medical device company. The Company is engaged in developing and marketing a range of branded, generic and branded generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and medical devices (contact lenses, intraocular lenses, ophthalmic surgical equipment, and aesthetics devices).

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