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.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on VRX. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $15.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Thursday, July 27th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $10.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “underweight” rating and issued a $10.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Friday, July 14th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $17.68.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) traded down 2.38% during trading on Thursday, reaching $13.95. 1,304,271 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s market capitalization is $4.86 billion. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $14.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.51. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a 52 week low of $8.31 and a 52 week high of $24.30.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 business had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.23 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.88) EPS. The company’s revenue was down 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will post $3.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Schutter Richard U. De bought 10,000 shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International 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 owns 77,479 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,110,274.07. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 5.87% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 490,395 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $8,509,000 after acquiring an additional 13,810 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 48.2% in the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,777,063 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $30,631,000 after acquiring an additional 903,256 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 9.2% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,435,670 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $23,895,000 after acquiring an additional 121,032 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co lifted its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 12.0% in the 1st quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 27,996 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $310,000 after acquiring an additional 2,996 shares during the period. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in the 1st quarter worth $513,000. Institutional investors own 50.48% of the company’s stock.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Company Profile

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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