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Valeant shares surge after drugmaker reports US$1.3B quarterly profit

MONTREAL _ Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. surged more than 16 per cent Tuesday after the drugmaker reported a US$1.3-billion profit boosted by a tax gain as it approaches the halfway mark in its turnaround plan.

Valeant’s (TSX:VRX) shares gained C$2.55 or 16.5 per cent at C$17.98 in morning trading.

The Quebec-based company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said the profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 amounted to US$3.69 per diluted share. That compared with a loss of $1.22 billion or $3.49 per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $2.22 billion for the quarter, down from $2.48 billion in the third quarter of 2016, due in part to the sale of several assets in a bid to reduce its massive debt.

“While there is more work to do to complete this turnaround to be clear, Valeant today is a stronger company than it was a year ago,” chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said during a conference call.

He warned that transforming the embattled company is a multi-year process involving incremental steps.

Total debt has been cut 11 per cent to $27.4 billion after Valeant exceeded its debt reduction target.

The company said it has reduced its total debt by $6 billion since the end of the first quarter of 2016, topping its commitment to pay down $5 billion by February.

On an adjusted basis, Valeant said it earned $367 million in its latest quarter.

The financial results came out a day after Valeant announced a deal to sell its female sexual dysfunction drug back to the company’s former owners in exchange for a royalty on sales.