* Now sees 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $3.60-$3.75 bln
* Posts first profit in six quarters
* Shares up nearly 21 percent
(Adds CEO and analyst comments, stock move)
By Ankur Banerjee and Rod Nickel
May 9 Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc raised its 2017 earnings
forecast and reported its first profit in six quarters, helped
by a one-time tax gain, and its U.S. shares jumped nearly 21
The maker of Bausch + Lomb contact lenses and irritable
bowel treatment Xifaxan is trying to regain investor confidence
after investigations into its drug pricing and other business
practices, such as its use of a specialty pharmacy, by multiple
U.S. government agencies.
Laval, Quebec-based Valeant said it expected 2017 earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $3.60
billion to $3.75 billion, excluding special items. It previously
forecast $3.55 billion to $3.70 billion.
The outlook cheered investors who may have expected a
reduction, said BTIG analyst Tim Chiang.
"The market was very fearful that something else was going
to go wrong," Chiang said. "Maybe management is getting their
hands around the situation. Still, they have this uphill climb."
The results came after billionaire investor William Ackman
sold his entire stake in Valeant in March at a loss of more than
Valeant is focusing on its dermatology, eyecare and
gastrointestinal units while selling other assets to repay heavy
Despite challenges, the company is "the turnaround
opportunity of a lifetime" as it fixes its balance sheet, Chief
Executive Officer Joe Papa told analysts.
Valeant's shares were up 20.6 percent at $11.71 in New York.
At Monday's close, they had fallen 70 percent since August.
The drugmaker reduced its long-term debt by $1.3 billion in
the first quarter, leaving it at $28.54 billion on March 31.
Refinancing has created a more comfortable repayment
schedule, Chief Financial Officer Paul Herendeen said.
Net income was $628 million, or $1.79 per share, in the
quarter, compared with a year-earlier loss of $374 million, or
$1.08 per share.
The results included a one-time income tax benefit of $908
million from internal restructuring.
On a per-share basis, Valeant's earnings were 78 cents,
excluding items, below the analysts' average estimate of 82
cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B//E/S.
Revenue fell to $2.11 billion from $2.37 billion, missing
the average estimate of $2.18 billion.
Revenue at Valeant's branded Rx unit fell 9 percent to $604
million. The company said a decrease in volume offset higher
"The focus point has not been volume but to stabilize
average selling price," said Scott Hirsch, senior vice president
of business strategy and communication.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in
Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)