Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 61,809,404 shares traded hands during mid-day 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 research analysts have weighed in on VRX shares. BMO Capital Markets started coverage on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $26.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Monday, May 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $35.00 target price on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Mizuho reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $11.00 target price on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $33.00 target price on shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.32.

The stock’s 50 day moving average is $23.51 and its 200 day moving average is $38.45. The company’s market cap is $10.11 billion.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE:VRX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 9th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.08. The company earned $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.47 billion. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s revenue was down 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.14 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. will post $6.54 EPS for the current year.

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

Other hedge funds recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nicholas Co. Inc. WI boosted its stake in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International by 15.6% in the fourth quarter. Nicholas Co. Inc. WI now owns 1,586,925 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $161,310,000 after buying an additional 214,435 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised 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 worth $8,110,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised 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 worth $28,900,000 after buying an additional 203,760 shares in the last quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. raised its position in shares of 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 worth $135,033,000 after buying an additional 314,616 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP raised 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 worth $6,647,000 after buying an additional 28,365 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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