February 24, 2017 / 3:47 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-"New Valeant" = "Old Valeant" - Wells Fargo analyst

** Despite wanting to talk about “new Valeant,” the troubled Canadian drugmaker’s business trends and pricing-driven model remain “old Valeant”, Wells Fargo analyst David Maris says

** Maris, a long-time VRX bear, says market underestimating Valeant’s poor prescription trends, reliance on price, employee turnover, execution risk on product launches, patent expiries including Xifaxan as well as numerous lawsuits

** Maris says the Canadian drugmaker’s shares are overvalued at current levels; NYSE-listed shares down 1.7 pct at $16.29 Friday, TSX-listed stock down 2 pct at C$21.31

** VRX trades at 3.4x forward 12-month earnings, while Mallinckrodt, Mylan and Teva have a NTM PE of between 7-8x; Endo, trading 3.1x, is cheaper

** Maris maintains VRX at “underperform”, a rating he first set in Feb. 2016; in that time his valuation range has come down to $10-$13 from $65-$68

** VRX to report fourth-quarter results on Tuesday; Q4 adj. EPS expected to drop 51.4 pct to $1.21, per TR I/B/E/S

** 3 of 21 brokerages rate the NYSE-listed stock “buy” or higher, 13 “hold” and 5 “sell” or lower; median PT is $20 vs $156.36 a year earlier

** Up to Thursday’s close, NYSE-listed stock had risen 14 pct YTD after falling 60 pct in 2016

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