Analysts Weigh In On Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX) And Horizon Pharma PLC (HZNP) In Light Of Default Fears And Updated Guidance

It’s been a long road to recovery for Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), which doesn’t seem to be getting any easier as the company battles debt struggles, leaving many analysts scurrying from the embattled company. On the other hand, UBS analyst remains bullish on Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP) despite the company’s announcement that most of its revenue will be realized in the second half of the year.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

The long and bumpy road for Valeant does not seem to be letting up anytime soon as Valeant announced it had received notice of default, allegedly from Centerbridge Partners, a private equity firm that owns an estimated 25% of Valeant’s $1 billion bond issue that is due by 2023. While David Maris of Wells Fargo finds this notice concerning, he is more focused on “what this says about where the equity holders are falling in the lineup of stakeholders at Valeant.”

Maris explains that debt holders can go years without being repaid, commenting, “Companies in similar positions can often go years with their business being put into a holding pattern while debt is paid down ahead of other capital decision.” Furthermore, the analyst is not convinced that divestiture potential will help debt holders because lower debt levels are “offset” by “lower EBITDA and lower earnings.” He elaborates, “We also underscore our belief that Bausch & Lomb, one of the parts of Valeant often mentioned in the press as a potential divesture, is more likely worth less than Valeant paid for it given the reduction in R&D programs, lack of tax synergies, and a lowered market outlook.”

The analyst urges Valeant equity holders to keep to the sidelines due to their “poor position in the capital structure given the sizable amount of debt.” Maris goes on to highlight his uncertainty that Valeant will be able to successfully pay off its debts without “significant refinancing” in 2018 when large amounts of debt are due.

As the analyst continues to believe that Valeant carries too much risk, Maris maintains an Underperform rating on the struggling company with a valuation range between $30 and $31 due to the company’s accounting issues, balance risk sheets, and concerns surrounding business practices.

According to TipRanks, 30% of the analysts covering Valeant recommend buying it, half say hold, and 20% say sell. Maris has a 47% success rate recommending stocks with a 3% average return per rating.

Horizon Pharma PLC

While Horizon Pharma is leaving its 2016 guidance unchanged at $1.025-$1.050 billion in sales, the company notified investors that it expects sales from the first half of the year to be lower than the second half because Horizon “needs to absorb the deductibles that patients must cover before drug costs are covered by payors.” Marc Goodman of UBS weighs in on the biotech company in light of this update.

Goodman explains that this “tougher-than-expected payer environment” is partially due to Duexis and Vimovo, Horizon’s approved medications to provide arthritis relief, because the deductibles for these two products impacted the gross-to-net earnings. The analyst admits that his sales estimates for Duexis and Vimovo were overblown, but on the bright side notes that his estimates for Pennsaid and Krystexxa were too low. As a result, he does not need to change his spending estimates.

The analyst understands that stocks do not react positively when management “back-end load the year more than investors were expecting,” but Goodman believes the 23% drop off was an “overreaction.”

Goodman maintains a Buy rating on the company but is lowering his price target from $39 to $24 following the company’s announcement that most of its revenue will be realized in the second half of the year.

According to TipRanks, Goodman has a 58% success rate recommending stocks with a 2.9% average return per rating. Out of the analysts who have rated Horizon in the last 3 months, 100% of them recommend buying the stock.

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