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Valeant cuts 2015 revenue, profit forecasts

Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals cut its revenue and profit forecasts for 2015, but said it still expected double-digit percentage sales growth through higher volumes in 2016.

U.S.-listed shares of Valeant were up 0.8 percent at $110.50 in premarket trading on Wednesday after dipping initially.

The company will update investors later on Wednesday on how its plans to sustain sales and profit growth.

Valeant and its Chief Executive Michael Pearson have been criticized for steep price increases on some drugs and for close ties to a specialty pharmacy that used aggressive methods to overcome insurer barriers to reimbursements.

U.S. federal agencies are also investigating the company for potentially cornering a part of the specialty contact lens market through its acquisition of Paragon Vision Sciences.

In a move that boosted investor confidence, Valeant said on Tuesday it had signed a distribution deal with leading pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, offering discounts on its products.

Valeant announced on Wednesday plans to cut its debt by $2.25 billion, a step backed by Bill Ackman, one of the company's top shareholders.

The company cut its 2015 profit forecast to $10.23-$10.33 per share, below its earlier forecast of $11.67-$11.87.

Analysts were expecting a profit of $11.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Valeant said it now expected 2015 total revenue of $10.4 billion-$10.5 billion, down from $11.0 billion-$11.2 billion forecast earlier.

The company forecast a 2016 adjusted profit of $13.25-$13.75 per share, below analysts' average estimate of $14.27.

Valeant's revenue forecast of $12.5 billion-$12.7 billion. Analysts on average expect revenue of $12.56 billion.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to remove a reference to 2016.