(Adds CEO, analyst comments, sales of Bausch & Lomb brands)
By Ransdell Pierson
July 31 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, embroiled in a bitter battle to take over Botox-maker Allergan Inc, reported disappointing quarterly earnings and cut its 2014 and 2015 profit forecasts on Thursday, sending its shares down 7.2 percent.
“People were disappointed in Valeant’s outlook for the remainder of 2014, and especially its 2015 earnings guidance, which is about $1 per share below expectations,” said Raghuram Selvaraju, an analyst with Aegis Capital.
The Laval, Quebec-based company teamed up with activist investor Bill Ackman on April 21 to make a cash and stock offer for Allergan now worth about $50 billion. Allergan says the deal would hurt its growth and compromise shareholders.
Even as it lowered its profit forecasts, Valeant argued that second quarter results should bolster its attractiveness to Allergan shareholders.
Valeant, which paid $8.7 billion for eye care company Bausch & Lomb last year, said sales of those products rose 12 percent to $891 million in the quarter.
“They’ll use that to argue that the Allergan business won’t go to pot if acquired by Valeant,” Selvaraju said.
Allergan has questioned Valeant’s marketing ability and said it believed the Bausch & Lomb products were stagnating.
Valeant, which has grown swiftly through acquisitions, now expects 2014 profit, excluding special items, of $7.90-$8.10 per share, on revenue of $8 billion to $8.3 billion. That is down from its forecast in April of $8.55 to $8.80 per share on revenue of $8.3 billion to $8.7 billion.
Valeant said it lowered its 2014 forecasts to reflect its recent sale of rights to several skin care products.
For next year, it forecast earnings of about $9.65 per share, well below the Thomson Reuters forecast of $10.42. It expects revenue of about $9.3 billion next year, rising to $11.4 billion in 2016. For 2016, it expects earnings of $12.30 per share.
The outlooks assume acquisitions of about $5 billion in 2015 and $10 billion in 2016, Valeant executives said in a conference call with investors. The forecasts represent “conservative assumptions,” including stable research spending and the negative impact of patent expirations, said Chief Financial Officer Howard Schiller.
Valeant said it remains intent on acquiring Allergan and that Allergan shareholders, should the merger go through, would get twice the earnings per share in 2016 than they would receive if Allergan remained independent.
Chief Executive Michael Pearson said Valeant is also interested in other acquisitions, including innovative contact lenses. He said the company could not be content to remain the No. 4 global player in the field.
Valeant said it earned $126 million, or 37 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $10.8 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, Valeant earned $1.91 per share, below the Thomson Reuters forecast of $1.96. Total revenue rose 86 percent to $2.04 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson in New York and Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Ted Kerr, Chris Reese and Andre Grenon)