Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued 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 and should bode well in the upcoming quarters. The company reduced its debt by $4.3 billion since the first quarter of 2016.The dermatology business saw some positive trends as the average selling price stabilized. The GI business continues to struggle with weak sales of Xifaxan but should see gain in market share with an increased sales force. Shares have underperformed the broader industry.”

VRX has been the topic of several other reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $18.00 price target on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 6th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $15.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Thursday. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $10.00 price target on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “underweight” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Guggenheim initiated coverage on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. They set a “buy” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $16.81.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) traded up 0.62% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $17.88. 1,795,218 shares of the company traded hands. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a 1-year low of $8.31 and a 1-year high of $32.74. The stock’s market capitalization is $6.22 billion. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.69 and its 200-day moving average is $13.32.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 9th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $2.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $1.93. The business had revenue of $2.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.17 billion. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International had a positive return on equity of 58.02% and a negative net margin of 14.96%. The company’s revenue was down 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($1.08) EPS. Equities analysts predict that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will post $3.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Valeant Pharmaceuticals International news, Director Schutter Richard U. De purchased 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $13.90 per share, with a total value of $278,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 70,572 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $980,950.80. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 5.87% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. ValueAct Holdings L.P. boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 20.0% in the first quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 17,997,224 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $198,509,000 after buying an additional 3,002,963 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 9.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,980,074 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $76,990,000 after buying an additional 621,618 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 9.8% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 6,330,670 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $109,521,000 after buying an additional 564,215 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 17.1% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 4,489,169 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $49,516,000 after buying an additional 656,116 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 48.2% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,777,063 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $30,631,000 after buying an additional 903,256 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 50.42% 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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