NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) stock is advancing by 2.07% to $89.15 in pre-market trading on Tuesday, after activist investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed it raised its stake in the company to 9.9% from 5.7%.
Ackman is one of Valeant's biggest shareholders, and CNBC reported that he had increased his stake in the company by roughly 2 million shares in October, reiterating his belief in the company amid probes into its pricing practices and allegations by Citron Research.
Citron Research alleged that the pharmaceutical company collaborated with specialty pharmacy Philidor to create a network of phantom pharmacies to inflate sales and avoid auditor scrutiny. Valeant has disputed the claims and cut ties with Philidor.
The stock is down 51% since September 30, which values Pershing Square's stake at $2.98 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Ackman has repeatedly voiced his support for and defended his investment in the struggling company.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTL as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
We rate VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTL (VRX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk.
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 35.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $736.40 million or 19.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -0.80%.
- VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTL has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTL turned its bottom line around by earning $2.67 versus -$2.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($11.28 versus $2.67).
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTL's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 41.05%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 82.71% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, VRX is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: VRX