Valeant Pharmaceuticals raises its outlook for 2015 after finishing purchase of Salix

StocksAssociated Press

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said Wednesday it turned a profit in the first quarter, and the Canadian drugmaker raised its forecasts for the year after completing more acquisitions.

The company reported a profit of $73.7 million, or 21 cents per share, after it lost $22.6 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago. Valeant said it earned $2.36 per share if amortization and deferred financing costs and other one-time items are excluded. Its revenue rose 16 percent to $2.19 billion.

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During the quarter, Valeant bought prostate cancer therapy maker Dendreon out of bankruptcy. On April 1, the day after the first quarter ended, it closed its $11.11 billion purchase of Salix Pharmaceuticals. That was the latest and largest in a series of acquisitions for Valeant, which paid $8.7 billion for contact lens maker Bausch & Lomb in 2013.

Valeant's biggest businesses include dermatology, eye health, and neurology. Salix makes gastrointestinal products like Pepcid and Zegerid for ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux and Relistor for constipation caused by opioid drugs.

The Laval, Quebec-based company said it is now forecasting an annual adjusted profit of $10.90 to $11.20 per share on revenue of $10.4 billion to $10.6 billion. Salix had about $1.1 billion in revenue in 2014.

Analysts expect a profit of $10.63 per share on revenue of $10.13 billion, according to FactSet.

Valeant stock rose $3.83, or 1.9 percent, to $209.29 in afternoon trading. The stock is trading around all-time highs and has climbed 44 percent in 2015. It peaked at $213 earlier in the day.

The company also said Chief Financial Officer Howard Schiller will step down once Valeant has found a replacement. Schiller, 53, has been Valeant's CFO since December 2011. He said on the company's conference call that he wants to pursue other business interests, likely with a private company.

Schiller will remain on Valeant's board and run for a new term at annual shareholder meeting in May.

Valeant also tried to buy Botox maker Allergan, teaming up with activist investor Bill Ackman to make an offer for the company. Valeant's effort started a year ago and was unsuccessful, as Actavis PLC bought Allergan for $66 billion in a deal that closed in March.

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