UPDATE 2-Drugmaker Valeant raises forecasts, says CFO to leave

Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:24am EDT
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(Adds comments on CFO's exit, share activity)

By Rosmi Shaji and Rod Nickel

April 29 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc raised its earnings and sales forecasts for the year on Wednesday and said its chief financial officer will step down.

The Laval, Quebec-based company, whose top-selling products are heart treatment Isuprel and anti-depressant Wellbutrin, also reported profit and revenue for the first quarter that beat market estimates, helped by a 39 percent jump in U.S. sales.

Valeant shares rose in early trade in Toronto and New York.

Valeant said Howard Schiller, the company's chief financial officer since December 2011, will step down once a replacement is found.

Schiller, 53, said he is leaving to pursue other interests, likely with a private company, but would remain on Valeant's board and seek re-election in May.

Schiller's move is disappointing to investors, BMO analyst Alex Arfaei said in a note. "Valeant is a controversial company with complex, heavily scrutinized financials. Mr. Schiller has essentially been the explainer in chief."

Schiller collected $23.7 million worth of stock awards in 2014 as he reached the three-year mark with Valeant.   Continued...