Since March, shares of deeply distressed drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX)  have fallen to about $26 from $30 apiece.

During this period, Moody's downgraded Valeant's credit rating to B2.

The company also fired the sales force for the female libido pill Addy, which it acquired for $1 billion.

Divestments may be the way forward to pare down Valeant's monster $30 billion-plus debt load. It is difficult to imagine a turnaround for the company unless it sells its biggest assets.

Valeant's stock looks like it is heading straight to zero, making it one of the most vulnerable stocks on the market.

Joseph Papa, the former chairman and chief executive of Perrigo has joined Valeant as its new CEO, after being offered a $60 million compensation package. He has his work cut out for him, to put it mildly.

There are few positives at Valeant.

One is that Legg Mason Opportunity Trust manager Bill Miller, known for either hitting a home run or striking out with his investments, said that he bought Valeant's stock for between $28 and $32.

That said, the company candidly said that revenue this year will fall by about 10% to $11 billion, from $12.5 billion in 2015.

Analytics firm Macroaxis pegged the probability of Valeant filing for bankruptcy protection at 48%.

The story of how Valeant became a toxic investment is well-known. A strange relationship with Philidor Rx Services, a supposedly independent pharmacy that has since ceased operations, was at the heart of Valeant's eventual share meltdown.

J. Michael Pearson, Valeant's former chief executive, can also be blamed for running up a ton of debt for acquisitions, which haven't added any alpha to the stock.

Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren E. Buffett, among many others, lambasted Valeant over its price increases and business practices.

However, billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who is the founder and chief executive of Pershing Square Capital Management, still finds merit in the company. He has urged Valeant to launch an initial public offering for its Bausch & Lomb subsidiary as a way to unlock value and raise capital.

However, Ackman may not be on the level.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging released a report showing that he had been preparing for Valeant's stock to tumble back in October.

Although Papa's first move is to reset Valeant's strategy with the creation of a group responsible for drug pricing, it doesn't look like there is much hope for the future.

Valeant, like every other, scary-stock story (think Enron and WorldCom) is drowning in its inglorious past.

Since 2010, Valeant's debt has grown tenfold, faster than revenue.

Although the company filed its 2015 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission late last month, thereby resolving its technical default on some of its debt, Valeant's reputation has taken a huge beating. It is difficult for companies to mark a massive turnaround when they have to carry such a massive debt burden.

And recently, Valeant's price hikes began to come receive negative attention. The food scare at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a prime example of how companies can find it extremely difficult to win back consumer trust.

Shares of Valeant are dangerous and should be sold or avoided.


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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.