NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Valeant (VRX) could be in a worse position than investors think it's currently in with two of its former executives said to be under investigation by the DOJ for accounting fraud, Wells Fargo (WFC) senior analyst David Maris said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Tuesday afternoon. The two executives are former CEO Michael Pearson and ex-CFO Howard Schiller.
"Some people have characterized it as 'it's not the company, it's just the individuals.' I wouldn't be so sure about that," Maris said.
This investigation could be wider than people think, he said. "[The report] was very vague. We don't know if charges - if they're eventually brought - whether they'll be limited to just the two individuals or to the company."
Valeant is also being investigated by the SEC.
But even if it turns out to just be an issue with the two former executives, the stock still doesn't look great based on the "single most important thing," which is its business, according to Maris. "The real case is that the prescription trends look very poor for Valeant so that's what we're more concerned about - and the crushing debt." Valeant's debt load is over $30 billion.
Shares of Valeant were higher in mid-afternoon trading on Tuesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Valeant as a Sell with a ratings score of D. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks the team covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: VRXVRX data by YCharts