Analysts Weigh In on Two Raising Healthcare Stocks: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals are rising nearly 10% today, after the company announced that an Ad Hoc Committee has completed its review of the issues surrounding Philidor and that no new accounting items have been identified.

Canaccord analyst Neil Maruoka commented, “We view this to be a significant de-risking event for Valeant, which should keep the company on track to file its 10-K by April 29th. This is important, as missing that deadline (in the absence of an extension from its lenders) would put the company into technical default on its debt.”

“Although we believe this news removes a significant overhang from the stock, we believe there is still work to be done, particularly relating to internal controls and assessment of ‘remediation matters’ […] Valeant has previously concluded that material weaknesses currently exist with its internal controls over financial reporting. We believe the issues with the culture that came to pervade the organization was likely not conducive to an effective controls environment.” the analyst continued.

Maruoka reiterated a Hold rating on shares of Valeant, with a price target of $40, which implies an upside of 401% from current levels.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Neil Maruoka has a total average return of -33% and a 21.6% success rate. Maruoka has a -39% average return when recommending VRX, and is ranked #3766 out of 3842 analysts.

Out of the 22 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 7 rate Valeant stock a Buy, 11 rate the stock a Hold and 4 recommend to Sell the stock. With a return potential of 89%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $53.87.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc

Intercept shares jumped nearly 14% as of this writing, after the FDA released positive briefing documents ahead of its Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee’s review meeting related to the new drug application (NDA) for Intercept’s obeticholic acid (OCA).

In reaction, Cowen analyst Ritu Baral reiterated an Outperform rating on the stock, with a price target of $212, which implies an upside of 40% from current levels.

Baral noted, “We think FDA’s Ad briefing documents ahead of Thursday’s AdComm for ICPT’s OCA for PBC (primary biliary cholangitis) are relatively benign. FDA’s own analysis of natural history data supports the validity of plasma alkaline phos alone as an acceptable biomarker for conditional approval in PBC. We think FDA’s safety/tolerability points may impact administration details/monitoring requirements, but we infer from the language of the questions that the agency supports conditional approval.”

According to, analyst Ritu Baral has a yearly average return of 5.6% and a 40% success rate. Baral has a -20.7% average return when recommending ICPT, and is ranked #513 out of 3777 analysts.

Out of the 17 analysts polled by TipRanks, 11 are bullish on Intercept Pharmaceuticals stock a Buy, 5 are neutral, and only 1 is bearish. With a return potential of 82%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $275.53.

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