MONTREAL — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is changing its name to Bausch Health Companies Inc. as it works to move further past the issues that tarnished its reputation and sullied its brand.
The company, which has been working to turn itself around in recent years, said the switch will come in July and also involves changing its stock market ticker symbol to BHC on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
Chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said the company considered a number of options before determining that the chosen moniker reflects the full scope of its activities, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products.
The name change only involves its corporate identity with brands such as Bausch & Lomb and Salix retaining their identities.
“I’m excited about this development because it signals we’ve reached an important point in the turnaround process with the steps we have taken are yielding concrete results and we are beginning to turn the page away from legacy issues that have been headwinds over the past years,” he said Tuesday during a conference call.
In the past two years, the company said it has completed more than a dozen divestitures and reduced its debt by more than 20 per cent or $6.9 billion, including $280 million in the first quarter.
The drugmaker also said it continues to resolve legacy legal issues, such as about 20 more lawsuits or investigations this year.
They include a settlement for $1.875 million with the California Department of Insurance about the terminated relationship with mail-order pharmacy partner Philidor Rx Services. Valeant said it reached an agreement with no admission or findings of liability.
“Importantly, we’ve resolved cases that represent in the aggregate over $1 billion in alleged exposure and our team has been able to do this for substantially less than initially claimed amount of exposure,” Papa told analysts.
The new name came as Valeant shares shot higher after it beat analyst expectations despite reporting a loss in its latest quarter as it took a $2.2-billion goodwill impairment charge related to its Salix and Ortho Dermatologics businesses.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Valeant’s shares gained 13.6 per cent at $26.66 in morning trading.
Valeant said it lost $2.69 billion or $7.68 per diluted share in the quarter compared with a profit of $628 million or $1.79 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Revenue totalled nearly $2 billion, down from nearly $2.11 billion a year ago with revenue from its top 10 products delivering more than 20 per cent revenue growth.
Organic revenues increased for the first time since the third quarter of 2015, rising two per cent, the company said.
On an adjusted basis, Valeant said it earned $312 million or 88 cents per diluted share in the quarter, up from $273 million or 78 cents per share in the same quarter last year.
The company was expected to report 59 cents per share in adjusted profits on $1.94 billion of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Valeant also raised its outlook for the year.
It now expects full-year revenues in the range of $8.15 billion to $8.35 billion, up from earlier expectations for $8.10 billion to $8.30 billion.
Full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amoritzation are expected to be in the range of $3.15 billion to $3.30 billion, up from $3.05 billion to $3.20 billion
Analyst Douglas Miehm of RBC Capital Markets said the increase came a quarter earlier than anticipated, but was consistent with his view that the company’s initial outlook was conservative.
“Given share price strength since early March, we believe the market may have been factoring in an increase to guidance this quarter,” he wrote in a report, adding he expects shares will increase on the new guidance and better-than-expected results.
Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.
Companies in the story: (TSX:VRX)
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press