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Valeant shares jump 6 percent after analyst says 'short thesis has been debunked'

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange underneath a board showing the name of Valeant Pharmaceuticals shortly before the opening of the markets in New York October 22, 2015.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange underneath a board showing the name of Valeant Pharmaceuticals shortly before the opening of the markets in New York October 22, 2015.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose more than 6 percent Monday after a Mizuho Securities analyst who had been bearish on the stock upgraded it.

"Because there is now a lower likelihood of a stock collapse from another guidance miss," Mizuho's Irina Koffler said in a research note, "we think our short thesis has been debunked and are upgrading VRX to neutral with a $25 [price target] based entirely on an optimistic [sum-of-the-parts] analysis."

Koffler previously rated the stock "underperform" and had a prior price target of $11 per share.

Last week, sources told Reuters that Valeant offered to pay lenders a higher interest rate in order to amend its debt agreements. This move loosened its interest coverage ratio requirement and now provides Valeant more breathing room.

As a result of the new terms, the analyst isn't as worried about what would happen if the company were to miss its future earnings targets.

Koffler said she continues to see Valeant's full-year earnings forecast as "unrealistic," given the expected 2.2 percent sequential decline in the revenue of its top 30 products and the pressure it is under to cut costs in its daily operations.

Valeant has about $30.77 billion in debt. The company had to appease creditors earlier this year after it missed deadlines for filing financial reports, triggering default notices.

Management said it plans to divest noncore assets, but Koffler also suspects the company's projected value for these assets is "highly aspirational." And she said she expects some of the assets will not attract buyers.

Valeant on Tuesday posted second-quarter earnings of $1.40 a share on $2.42 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.48 a share on $2.46 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

The drugmaker said it maintains its full-year 2016 adjusted earnings of $6.60 to $7 a share on revenue of $9.9 billion to $10.1 billion. Analysts estimate the company will earn $6.53 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Valeant declined to comment. The company's stock has fallen more than 73 percent this year.

VRX 2016 Chart