Beleaguered biopharma company Valeant (VRX) may be turning a corner.
The company on Tuesday reported a $1 billion increase in net income year over year, along with some other positive developments that have stemmed from its restructuring and re-tooling efforts over the past year or so.
This was actually a good quarter, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment.
The company saw pricing stabilization in some of its units while others did well in the quarter. CEO Joe Papa did a good job and cash flow from operations of $954 million was also impressive for Valeant, Cramer noted.
Importantly, management reduced its massive debt load by $1.3 billion, which now stands at the still-high figure of $28.5 billion. Even more notably, though, Valeant refinanced its debt, so it has no near-term maturities to worry about.
That's a big deal and could change the thesis for short sellers, Cramer said. There's been a lot of investors selling short shares of Valeant, as well as shorting its bonds.
Make no mistake, the company is still hampered by its debt load. But it might not be desperate anymore, which could ruin the short thesis. Valeant may not be on its last leg the way so many investors had thought, he concluded.
The company also raised its Ebitda guidance for 2017 to a range of $3.6 billion to $3.75 billion from $3.55 billion to $3.70 billion. The company cited "the impact of the [January] sale of the CeraVe, AcneFree and AMBI skincare brands" but said the Dendreon sale, which also occurred in January, did not impact the increased guidance.
Net income for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $628 million, as compared to a net loss of $374 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of slightly more than $1 billion.
Valeant shares closed at $12.05, up 24%.
Valeant Tuesday also reported total revenues of $2.109 billion for the first quarter of 2017 down from $2.372 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The revenue was also $50 million below consensus estimates.
The decrease of $263 million, or 11%, from last year's first quarter, the company said, was primarily driven by lower volumes in the company's U.S. Diversified Products and branded prescription segments due to the loss of exclusivity for a number of products and what the company called "challenging market dynamics," such as the negative effects of foreign currency changes, divestitures and discontinuations, and a modest decrease in average realized pricing.
These decreases were partially offset by increased volumes in its Bausch + Lomb/International segment, mainly in Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, China and Australia.
Valeant said it had reduced its debt by $1.3 billion in the first quarter. It had about $29 billion in debt as of the fourth quarter of 2016.
Operating income was $211 million for the first quarter of 2017 as compared to $66 million for the first quarter of 2016, an increase of $145 million. A decrease in operating expenses includes higher direct-to-consumer advertising expenses for Jublia and Xifaxan in the first quarter of 2016, which was partially offset by a higher run rate in general and administrative expenses and asset impairments.
"Our first quarter performance demonstrates that we are delivering on our commitments. We met our internal expectations, and we are continuing to make progress on our key initiatives, focus on the turnaround of our core businesses and improve internal operating efficiencies," said Joseph C. Papa, chairman and chief executive officer, Valeant "Our divestiture efforts and cash flow generation have led to a$3.6 billion reduction in total debt to date, since the end of the first quarter of 2016, and our successful debt refinancing provides us with a more comfortable maturity profile."
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in any companies mentioned.