Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) continues to fight an uphill battle to curb its $30 billion, but CEO Joseph Papa remains confident the company can return to glory.
The executive said the company was ahead of debt target reduction targets set at the beginning of the year and that the company continues to evaluate options, including divistiutures, to continue its course to pay down debt.
"We've been dealing with all the issues," Papa told TheStreet co-founder Jim Cramer during the "Executive Decision" segment on Mad Money on CNBC. Cramer said that Papa had exceeded what he thought was possible for Valeant and he reiterated his recommendation.
Shares of Valeant were up about a percent at Thursday's close but are down about 6% on the year.
Still, not everyone is sold that the embattled drugmaker, which has has seen its shares fall from $262 to lows near $9 before finally finding a bottom, is turning the corner.
"While the stock has been bolstered recently by speculation of a potential debt-for-equity swap, we believe there is considerable uncertainty on what this could look like or whether a transaction could have a meaningful impact on Valeant's leverage," wrote Canaccord's Neil Maruoka in a note on Aug. 8.
Maruoka acknowledged that the company saw strong earnings in Bausch & Lomb, "we are not necessarily convinced that we are seeing significant operating momentum for the company."
Shares of Valeant, a one-time investment of hedge funder Bill Ackman, rose as much a 10% on Aug. 8 as the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.05 on revenue of $2.23 billion.
Analysts had forecast, on average, adjusted EPS of 94 cents on revenue of $2.23 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company said it expects to exceed the commitment to pay down $5 billion in debt from divestiture proceeds and free cash flow before February 2018.
Papa, formerly the CEO of Perrigo Co. (PRGO) - Get Report , said that it has been a very challenging 15 months for Valeant, but noted that they've made great progress in turning things around. He said Valeant has new leadership, including a new CFO and general counsel, and the company has retired an astounding $4.8 billion in debt in just the past year.
All told, Valeant will be making 12 asset divestitures to help fix its balance sheet and Papa said the deals still left to close will represent another $1.2 billion on top of that they've already done. Additionally, these asset sales will not impact the bottom line, as Valeant's pipeline of new drugs will generate the returns the company's shareholders are expecting.
Cramer and the AAP team are telling their investment club members to take a closer look at Allergan plc (AGN) - Get Report as it relates to the share price of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) - Get Report . Get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.