Does Deutsche Bank Finally Have It Right on Valeant?

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) shares saw a handy gain on Monday after one key analyst upgraded the stock. The company posted its fourth-quarter results last week, and investors were not happy, so this report might come as a shock to some who were expecting the bears to take over.

Deutsche Bank raised its rating to Buy from Hold, with a $20 price target. The firm said that Valeant is doing the right things now to help strengthen its business. It cited investing behind core growth franchises, reducing its legal liabilities and strengthening its balance sheet. The firm also believes that the problems of the past are in the past.

One of the bank’s takeaways in the report was that Valeant’s Bausch+Lomb/International unit can be a solid mid-single-digit grower over time.

According to Deutsche Bank’s report:

We particularly like that management is now confident enough in the business to have established longer-term revenue and EBITDA targets, which it did not set lightly.

In Valeant’s earnings report, the company mentioned its restructuring, citing that Valeant has completed 13 divestitures since the beginning of 2016, including skin care brands (CeraVe, AcneFree and AMBI), Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, iNova Pharmaceuticals, Obagi Medical Products and Sprout Pharmaceuticals.

Also looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company issued guidance and expects to see revenues between $8.10 billion and $8.30 billion and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $3.05 billion to $3.20 billion. The consensus estimates are $3.46 in EPS on $8.39 billion in revenue for the year.

Keep in mind that while Deutsche Bank may have a bullish outlook for this struggling pharma, there are still other analysts that haven’t come around yet. The picture is ultimately mixed for Valeant as it is a battleground stock. Here’s what other analysts are saying:

  • TD Securities has a Buy rating with a $23 price target.
  • Piper Jaffray has a Sell rating and a $10 price target.
  • CFRA has a Hold rating.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald has a Buy rating with a $25 target price.
  • Wells Fargo has a Sell rating.
  • H.C. Wainwright has a Neutral rating and an $18 price target.
  • Mizuho has an Underperform rating with a $10 price target.

Shares of Valeant were last seen up 4% at $15.47 on Monday, with a 52-week range of $8.31 to $24.43. The updated consensus analyst price target should now be $17.21, down from $17.44 a month ago but up from $16.83 just 60 days ago.