Monday Morning Market Insights: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Tribune Publishing Co (TPUB), Anavex Life Sciences Corp (AVXL)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) is up over 5% in pre-market trading after the company announced the appointment of new CEO Joseph Papa, the former CEO of competitor Perrigo. Following a series of scandals the past few quarters, Valeant has been in hot water due to fraud allegations, questionable business practices, and government probes, which all resulted in shares dropping 86% since August. As a result, former CEO Michael Pearson stepped down, shortly after returning from a sick leave in which he was battling pneumonia.

Prior to this news, rumors of Papa’s appointment caused BMO Capital analyst Alex Afraei to reiterate his Outperform rating on the stock with a $66 price target on April 22, 2016. He stated, “If true, this should be viewed favorably for VRX as it removes another uncertainty for the stock. Mr. Papa is an industry veteran with extensive Pharma executive experience (Watson, DuPont, Searle). Moreover, he has led Perrigo’s through a number of acquisitions, including Elan in 2013, which was basically a tax inversion. Mr. Papa’s focus on buying consumer and OTC businesses (e.g., Omega, GSK OTC assets) is well aligned with Valeant’s strategy and key business units.”

According to TipRanks’ statistics, out of the 21 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 8 gave a Buy rating, 4 gave a Sell rating, and 9 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $49, marking a 36% upside from where shares last closed.


Tribune Publishing Co (NYSE:TPUB) is soaring more than 55% in pre-market trading to $11.73 as Gannett, a media company that owns USA Today, made an offer to buy the publishing company for $815 million, or $12.25 per share. This figure is over 60% more than Tribune’s Friday closing price as the media company estimates $50 million in annual synergy savings from the acquisition. By making the offer public, many say Gannett is “forcing” Tribune to consider the proposal. Gannet CEO wrote, “Given the substantial value represented by our offer and the other compelling benefits of a combination of Gannett and Tribune, we are confident that Tribune’s non-management stockholders will support our proposal.”

According to TipRanks, only 1 has analyst has covered Tribune in the last month with a Hold rating and a $9 price target.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp (NASDAQ:AVXL) is rising 23% in pre-market trading after reports from Australia stating that an Alzheimer’s patient was able to play the piano again after being treated with the company’s product candidate 3-71. The product has shown the ability to alter brain chemistry and improve learning and memory, reversing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s.

According to TipRanks, both analysts who have rated the stock in the past 3 months gave a Buy rating. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $12.50, marking a 138% upside from where shares last closed.

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