Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it expected to repay more than $5 billion in debt earlier than it had targeted, sending its shares up 10 percent.
Since taking the helm in April 2016, Joseph Papa has been trying to rebuild the company's business and regain investor confidence after a flurry of investigations into its accounting and pricing practices.
One of Papa's biggest challenges has been to cut the company's towering debt, which ballooned to nearly $30 billion following a spate of deal-making under former CEO Mike Pearson.
The company said on Tuesday it was continuing to reduce debt and resolve legacy issues, and that it expected to exceed its pledge to reduce $5 billion in debt earlier than February.
Valeant had long-term debt of about $28.5 billion as of June 30.
Last month, the drugmaker paid down $811 million of debt with proceeds from the sale of its cancer treatment unit Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, and agreed to sell its Obagi Medical Products business for $190 million. In June, Valeant agreed to sell its iNova Pharmaceuticals business for $930 million.
The maker of Bausch + Lomb contact lenses also lowered its revenue forecast for the year.
Valeant said it now expects revenue of $8.70 billion to $8.90 billion for the full year, compared with its previous forecast of $8.90 billion to $9.10 billion.
However, it maintained its 2017 forecast for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.05 per share, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 94 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The beat was mainly due to strong sales of Valeant's irritable bowel syndrome drug Xifaxan.
Revenue of $2.23 billion was roughly in line with expectations.
On Monday, the FDA declined to approve Valeant's eye drop for the second time in a little over a year, raising concerns over Bausch + Lomb's manufacturing facility in Tampa, Florida.
U.S.-listed shares of the Laval, Quebec-based company were up about 10.3 percent at $16.96 in premarket trading on Tuesday. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)