Valeant considering higher bid for Allergan after reporting strong Q3 results

MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals reported improved third-quarter results and raised its outlook Monday while also saying it was considering raising its hostile takeover offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc.

“We consider it every day. We do have some more dry powder,” Valeant chief executive Michael Pearson said during a conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results.

“We wanted today to be all about earnings, but it’s certainly something that we are contemplating and we may make that decision at any point in time.”

The company has partnered with Allergan’s largest shareholder, activist investor Bill Ackman and his investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management LP, in a hostile bid for the company worth $50 billion in cash and stock.

Pearson said the third-quarter results show Allergan’s disparaging comments about Valeant — repeated even before the company released its results Monday morning — were wrong.

“I think our third-quarter performance and our outlook is discrediting those attacks,” Pearson said.

He attributed the company’s second-best ever quarterly results to the “complete turnaround” of its U.S. dermatology business along with improvement at eye-care product maker Bausch, acquired last year.

Industry analysts said the results suggest Valeant warrants a higher share price, even without Allergan.

“We believe that this should silence critics who might suggest that third-quarter organic growth was due to price increases or channel stuffing,” said Neil Maruoka of Canaccord Genuity.

Valeant (TSX:VRX) (NYSE:VRX), which reports its results in U.S. dollars, said Monday it earned $275.4 million or 81 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter compared with a loss of $973.2 million or $2.92 per diluted share a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $718.8 million for $2.11 per diluted share compared with $485.9 million or $1.43 per diluted share in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue grew 33 per cent to $2.1 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier and about in line with estimates.

Analysts had estimated $2 per share of adjusted income, 64 cents in net earnings and $2.08 billion of revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30.

The company said Monday it now estimates it will earn between $2.45 and $2.55 per share of adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, which is above the analyst estimate of $2.11 per share. And it anticipates between $8.22 and $8.32 per share in 2014, up from prior guidance of $7.90 to $8.10.

For next year, Valeant is estimating $10 per share of adjusted profit excluding the impact of acquisitions, which is above the estimate of $9.69 compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Valeant’s shares closed up C$5.30 or 3.91 per cent at C$140.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. They were up US$4.57 or 3.8 per cent at US$124.78 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Pearson said the company has no plans to walk away from its offer for Allergan before a Dec. 18 special vote by Allergan shareholders called for by Pershing Square to remove a majority of the Botox maker’s board.

Both sides have resorted to several lawsuits, including one in which Valeant accused Allergan of putting out false and misleading statements in an attempt to lower Valeant’s stock price and the value of its offer.

A California court will hear arguments next week on Allergan’s lawsuit accusing Valeant and Pershing Square Capital of using fraud and insider trading to further their hostile takeover attempt. They responded by calling the allegations baseless and an attempt to stop Pershing Square’s efforts to replace six of members of the Allergan board.

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