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Valeant shares falls as CEO returns; financials delayed

Valeant shares falls as CEO returns; financials delayed

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) plunged anew on Monday, hours after the embattled drugmaker announced its chief executive is returning from illness but withdrew its financial guidance and postponed a conference call to discuss the firm’s fourth-quarter results. Investors reacted to the news by sending the Canada-based company’s stock down 8.49% to $73.80 in late morning trading. The latest decline extended a market drop that has erased roughly 70% of Valeant’s stock value since the shares reached a $262.52 high on Aug. 5.0528valeant

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson, who led the company’s expansion-through-acquisitions strategy before the stock swoon over the last six months, has returned from the severe pneumonia and related complications that forced him to take a leave of absence in late December, the company said. Howard Schiller, the former Valeant chief operating officer who served as interim CEO in Pearson’s absence, will transition out of that post but remain as a member of the company’s board of directors.

Valeant said it has separated the roles of company chairman and CEO, giving board member Robert Ingram the chairman role. The timing of Pearson’s return prompted a postponement of the previously scheduled Monday conference call to discuss preliminary fourth-quarter financial results with shareholders and Wall Street analysts. Announcing a withdrawal of the company’s previous financial guidance, Valeant said the call would be rescheduled “in the near term.”

The turnabout came days after Valeant said it would delay filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, pending completion of  an ad hoc committee’s examination of the company’s controversial business partnership with Philidor Rx services, a specialty pharmacy company that distributed the drugmaker’s medications. Valeant also said last week it would restate $58 million of company’s financial earnings from late 2014 into 2015 based on preliminary results of the internal review.