Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) shares dropped 8.9% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $24.56 and last traded at $24.90, with a volume of 40,497,385 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $27.32.

VRX has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Friday, April 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Monday, May 9th. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Scotiabank reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective (down from $35.00) on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $59.59.

The stock’s market capitalization is $8.55 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $22.66 and its 200-day moving average price is $40.28.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 9th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.08. During the same period last year, the business earned $2.14 earnings per share. The company earned $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.47 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. will post $6.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Joseph C. Papa bought 202,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 10th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $24.48 per share, with a total value of $4,944,960.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 2,442,199 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $59,785,031.52. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Argeris N. Karabelas bought 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $24.65 per share, with a total value of $98,600.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 20,726 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $510,895.90. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in VRX. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D bought a new position in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International during the fourth quarter valued at $2,033,000. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 237.8% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 30,718 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $3,122,000 after buying an additional 21,625 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP boosted its position in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 76.6% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 65,386 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,647,000 after buying an additional 28,365 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 79,777 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $8,110,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 253.0% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 284,308 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $28,900,000 after buying an additional 203,760 shares in the last quarter.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc is a pharmaceutical and medical device company. The Company is engaged in developing and marketing a range of branded, generic and branded generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and medical devices (contact lenses, intraocular lenses, ophthalmic surgical equipment, and aesthetics devices).

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