UPDATE 1-Valeant aims to double or quadruple revenue

Fri Jan 4, 2013 9:31am EST
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* Sees 2013 revenue $4.4 to $4.8 billion

* Sees cash earnings per share $5.45 to $5.75 for 2013

Jan 4 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , already Canada's biggest listed drugmaker, could double or quadruple revenue "in the foreseeable future," the company's chief executive said on Friday.

Chief Executive Michael Pearson said he believes Valeant could reach $10 billion to $20 billion in annual revenue.

"We do have the aspiration, at Valeant, to grow into a major pharmaceutical company," he said on a guidance call with analysts and investors.

Valeant has been on the acquisition trail since its 2010 takeover by Biovail Corp, which assumed the Valeant name. Pearson, who has focused on cash acquisitions, said he would use equity for the right deals, what he described as "mergers of equals" that could offer cost savings and tax benefits.

But Pearson said the company would still avoid businesses that rely on government reimbursements, as well as those in Western Europe. Valeant has favored segments, such as dermatology and opthalmology, where patients often pay out of pocket, cutting its exposure to cost-sensitive insurance programs.

The company also said it sees 2013 revenue of $4.4 billion to $4.8 billion, about 35 percent higher than in 2012. Analysts, on average, were expecting 2013 revenue of $4.63 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Valeant sees adjusted profit, which it calls cash earnings per share, of between $5.45 and $5.75. Analysts had been expecting $5.66 a share.

The company left fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance unchanged.