Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 61,809,404 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 128% from the previous session’s volume of 27,137,953 shares.The stock last traded at $30.02 and had previously closed at $26.60.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on VRX shares. Mizuho raised shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $25.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 11th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $44.00 target price (down from $66.00) on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Rodman & Renshaw reduced their target price on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International from $105.00 to $102.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $33.00 target price (down from $58.00) on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research report on Friday, June 3rd. Finally, TD Securities reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 price objective on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.47.

The firm’s market capitalization is $10.43 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $23.35 and a 200 day moving average of $38.51.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 9th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $2.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.47 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.14 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. will post $6.54 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Joseph C. Papa purchased 202,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 10th. The stock was bought at an average price of $24.48 per share, for a total transaction of $4,944,960.00. Following 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Argeris N. Karabelas purchased 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 11th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $24.65 per share, with a total value of $98,600.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 20,726 shares in the company, valued at $510,895.90. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,033,000. Marshall Wace LLP boosted its position in 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 during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in 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 during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in 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 during the period. Finally, I.G. Investment Management LTD. boosted its position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 31.0% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 1,328,610 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $135,033,000 after buying an additional 314,616 shares during the period.

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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