Valeant shares slump as company warns growth won't return until 2019 - InfoNews

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Valeant shares slump as company warns growth won't return until 2019

Valeant Pharmaceutical's head office is seen, Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Laval. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. posted its highest quarterly net profit in three years but its shares slumped as its adjusted earnings slumped. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
February 28, 2018 - 1:49 PM

MONTREAL - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. says it won't return to growth for another year as it continues efforts to turnaround the business and further lower its massive debt.

"We expect reported revenue to grow beginning in 2019 versus 2018, and for growth to accelerate as our new product launches take hold," chief financial officer Paul Herendeen said Wednesday.

The Quebec-based company said it expects revenues to grow four to six per cent annually through 2021 and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to grow at five to eight per cent annually.

Valeant's shares took a hit Wednesday, falling $2.74 or 11.54 per cent to $21.01 by the close of markets, after the company issued its 2018 guidance that was below analyst estimates.

The company said it expects revenue of US$8.1 billion to US$8.3 billion and full-year adjusted EBITDA in the range of US$3.05 billion to US$3.2 billion.

That's down from US$8.72 billion in revenues and US$3.64 billion in EBITDA posted in 2017.

Much of the decrease follows the sale of several companies, continued loss of patent exclusivity on some drugs and currency fluctuations.

Chief executive Joseph Papa said he still believes that Valeant is a "turnaround of a lifetime."

"I do think it takes some time and we have to demonstrate the performance and what we're trying to do right now," he told analysts.

Valeant cut its debt by 15 per cent in one year to US$25.7 billion.

Since the first quarter of 2015, it has reduced total debt by more than US$6.7 billion, partially from the sale of non-core assets.

With few further large sales of non-core assets available, industry analysts believe Valeant has to take further action to reduce its leverage.

Valeant said it recently filed a shelf prospectus that raises the prospect of an equity raise, said Neil Maruoka of Canaccord Genuity.

"We believe an equity raise is a strong possibility given the challenges of debt reduction through divestitures and the slow de-levering from operating cash flow and future EBITDA growth," he said in a report.

Reporting in U.S. dollars, Valeant said it earned $513 million or $1.45 per diluted share attributable to shareholders in its latest quarter, compared with a loss of $515 million or $1.47 per share a year ago.

The profit was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2014, before its share price collapsed on allegations of improper conduct by former senior executives.

"After working to stabilize the company, we're now well into the second phase of the plan turnaround to where we're taking steps to drive shareholder value," Papa said during a conference call.

Valeant said it launched more than 100 products last year while reducing the number of manufacturing sites by 23 per cent and discontinued more than 1,900 individual items.

The company said it resolved 80 lawsuits and investigations from issues involving former executives. It said insurance policies should cover settlement costs and legal fees.

On Wednesday, it announced the payment of $58 million to settle the Solodyn antitrust class action.

On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $347 million or 98 cents per diluted in the quarter. That's in line with analyst forecasts but is down from $443 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

While it will continue to eye opportunities for more divestitures, Papa said Valeant spins off lots of cash, some of which will be used to further cut debt.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 totalled $2.16 billion down 10 per cent from $2.4 billion a year earlier.

Nine percentage points of the lower revenues came from sold assets.

Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.

Companies in this story: (TSX:VRX)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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