LAVAL, Que. – Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) says 2015 is shaping up to be more profitable than its previous estimates.
The Quebec-based company is now projecting at least US$11.67 and as much as US$11.87 per share of cash earnings for the full year, up from the previous range of between US$11.50 and US$11.80 per share.
Valeant also announced US$2.74 per share of cash earnings in the third quarter, up 30 per cent from US$2.11 in the same time last year, with US$2.786 billion of revenue.
The cash earnings were four cents per share above analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue was above the estimate of US$2.779 billion.
Valeant’s cash earnings exclude numerous items such as restructuring charges, writedowns of in-process research and development and other intangible assets, as well as the impact of foreign exchange gains or losses.
Including those items, Valeant’s net earnings attributable to shareholders totaled US$49.5 million in the third quarter, or 14 cents per share – down from US$275.4 million or 81 cents per share a year earlier.
Valeant shares have taken a beating from the impact of U.S. investigations into its drug pricing and its patient assistance program. It revealed on Wednesday that U.S. Attorney’s offices in Massacheusetts and New York had received court orders for the company to produce documents.
Chairman and chief executive J. Michael Pearson has said the company will co-operate with the investigations but the company believes it has operated “in a fully compliante manner.”
The drugmaker is one of Canada’s top companies by market capitalization and accounts for about 4.23 per cent of the S&P/TSX composite index.
The U.S. Congress became interested in Valeant following its purchase of the heart drugs Nitropress and Isuprel and subsequently increasing the price for both – more than double in one case and more than triple in another. The drugs are administered in hospitals as part of a larger treatment protocol.
The company has said prior to the third-quarter report that its overall US$4.9 billion in revenues in the first half of the year included US$126 million from Nitropress and US$121 million from Isuprel.
Valeant shares closed Friday at C$227.40 in Toronto and US$177.56 in New York, down about 27 per cent in the past month.