Valeant Still Has a Long Way to Go on Paying Down Its Debt

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) is a company that many health care and activist investors alike wish they never had heard of. On Monday, May 1, 2017, its shares were surging higher after the company announced that it paid down more in debt.

Following the closing of the sale of three skincare brands to L’Oréal and after the closing of the divestiture of a manufacturing facility in Brazil, Valeant said that it now has reduced its senior secured terms loans by an additional $220 million.

According to the company’s release, Valeant has reduced approximately $3.6 billion of debt from the end of first quarter 2016. Valeant also maintained that it continues to advance toward its expectation of paying down $5 billion in debt from divestiture proceeds and free cash flow within 18 months of August 2016.

While Valeant shares had popped on the debt pay-down news on Monday, investors need to consider that Valeant has a long way to go on paying down its mountain of debt. After its shares tumbled from highs in recent years, the company’s market cap is now listed as just $3.36 billion.

As of the end of 2016, its most recent year revenue of $9.674 billion generated an operating loss of $566 million. Valeant’s balance sheet at the end of 2016 had $542 million in cash and cash equivalents. Its 2016 year-end statement showed $2.5 billion in receivables, just over $1 billion in inventory, and just over $950 million in other current assets. Those are tiny compared to the $34.6 billion in combined goodwill and intangible assets, for a total stated asset value of just over $43.5 billion.

The company had over $29 billion in long-term debt at the end of 2016, and Valeant’s total liabilities were almost $40.4 billion at that time.

Valeant has lost most of its bulls, it has hammered value and activist investors, and many investors simply do not know what Valeant will look like in the future.

Its shares were up more than 4% at $9.64 midday Monday, with a 52-week range of $8.31 to $38.50. This was a $250 stock briefly in mid-2015.