(Updates share movement, M&A plans, analyst’s comment)
By Rod Nickel
Jan 8 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc on Thursday raised its 2015 guidance for adjusted profit more than expected, as the drugmaker sees growth from existing products and a stream of small acquisitions.
Valeant shares jumped 7 percent in New York and Toronto.
The deal-making Laval, Quebec-based company failed in November to buy Allergan Inc, when that company accepted a higher offer from Actavis PLC.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Pearson said the company would focus in 2015 on buying smaller, private companies.
“I look at the list now of our over 100 active conversations (with targets), the vast, vast majority are private companies,” he said. “That’s been our history, that’s where our pipeline is now.”
Pearson’s plans were more ambitious a year ago when Valeant aimed to become a top five drug company by market capitalization by the end of 2016, a goal that would require tripling its roughly $49 billion market cap.
The company is targeting acquisitions in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Pearson said. Valeant also wants to build up its U.S. dental business and its dermatology, surgical and opthamology lines.
It has “zero appetite” to pay for acquisitions with its stock, which is undervalued, Pearson said.
The company expects to grow revenue from existing operations, a key area of criticism by Allergan during the takeover battle, by 10 to 12 percent in 2015.
Pearson said he had extended his contract by five years and compensation would be based on the company’s stock appreciating.
Valeant said that it expected in 2015 to reap revenue of $9.2 billion to $9.3 billion and cash earnings of $10.10 to $10.40 per share, exceeding last year’s results.
Analysts on average estimated $10.05 in cash earnings, or adjusted profit, and $9.03 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Valeant had previously targeted $10 in cash earnings per share and $9.1 billion in revenue.
Valeant’s 2015 guidance is impressive given pressures from currency declines in some countries including Russia where the company operates, said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Schott, in a note.
Valeant expects to report cash earnings of more than $2.55 per share and revenue of $2.2 billion in the recently completed fourth quarter, while analysts expected cash earnings of $2.49, and $2.24 billion in revenue. Valeant previously guided to fourth quarter revenue of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion and $2.45 to $2.55 cash earnings per share. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)