Top-Ranked Analyst Says Sell Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Buy Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (PCRX)

Investors who listened to Irina Rivkind Koffler over the past year have made 17 percent on their Koffler bets, according to TipRanks. The analyst, who works for Mizuho Securities, on Wednesday changed her recommendation on Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) shares to Underperform from Neutral, while reiterating a Buy rating on Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX).

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Koffler is out with another bearish report on Valeant as she believes the company’s current risk/reward is unfavorable due to growth challenges, 2017 guidance risk, legal overhangs, and weaker asset divestitures. As such, the analyst downgraded the stock to Underperform, while slashing the price target to $11 (from $25), which represents a potential downside of 35% from where the stock is currently trading.

Koffler explained, “The outlook for next year is directionally worse than 2016, and we think this will be compounded by future divestitures (currently excluded from our model). The secured leverage ratio of 2.5:1 may be at risk with our 2017 EBITDA estimate in the $4.0B range. Having re-evaluated the product and segment performance disclosed by the company, we lowered takeout multiples in our SOTP and also expanded our legal reserve from $1.4B to $2.0B (an arbitrary number, but one that reflects greater concern since the recent arrest of a Valeant insider). We see risk/reward as unfavorable and downgrade VRX to Underperform.”

Out of the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks, 2 rate Valeant Pharmaceuticals a Buy, 7 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend to Sell. With a return potential of 30%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $22.06.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc

Koffler took the other route, reiterating a Buy rating on shares of Pacira Pharmaceuticals, with a price target of $46, despite a weaker local anesthesia sales across the board in October (64,030 units, missing her estimate of 74,896).

The analyst noted, “PCRX remains one of the more compelling names in a desolate spec pharma landscape as we approach several data catalysts that may increase the company’s attractiveness to a strategic buyer. However, October Exparel sales were much weaker than expected, which we attribute to the overall softness in the market, and we reiterate our $46 PT and advise buying the dip.”

Out of the 8 analysts polled by TipRanks, 4 are bullish on Pacira shares, while 5 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 54%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $52.83.


Stay Ahead of Everyone Else

Get The Latest Stock News Alerts