Valeant Shares Plunge on Weak Turnaround Efforts

After investors have spent months being assured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX)(NYSE:VRX) CEO Joseph Papa the turnaround was on track, the latest quarterly results tell a different story.

While the bottom line was relatively good -- adjusted profit for the quarter came in at $1.26 U.S. per share while analysts expected earnings to be $1.21 U.S. -- the company still isn’t making much progress on its massive debt, which totals $30 billion U.S.

Valeant has been promising to get serious about its debt for months now, but hasn’t had much success. It did reach an agreement with two separate buyers to offload $2.1 billion U.S. in assets in January, but those deals haven’t closed yet. $2.1 billion U.S. is a nice start, but Valeant needs to sell more assets to really make a dent against its debt.

Investors were also disappointed with Valeant’s updated 2017 guidance. Analysts expected the company to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $3.9 billion U.S. for the year. Valeant now says it’ll post between $3.55 and $3.7 billion U.S. Sales will be $8.9 to $9.1 billion U.S, also below previous analyst expectations.

Remember that Valeant also cut its guidance twice in 2016. Investors are getting tired of the weak outlook.

Not surprisingly, Valeant shares plunged on the weak outlook. Shares fell 10.3% in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, declining $2.24 each to $19.70. That’s only marginally above the 52-week low of $17.19.