vrx market pulse
Valeant Pharmaceuticals has had a tough couple of months.Ever since Hillary Clinton tweeted her disdain for price gouging or the practice of raising the price of a drug that’s gone off patent back in Septemberthe company’s problems have snowballed. Valeant was a stock-market darling until earlier this year, as investors applaudedits model of borrowing heavily to buy drugmakers with established products and then increasing pricesand slashing spending on research and development. Its critics, which include hedge fund manager Jim Chanos and Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger, derided the business as unsustainable and hearkening back to the now-dismantledconglomerates of the 1960s. Those criticisms were largely ignored…until suddenly they weren’t.Here’s a timeline of what’s been happening with Valeant shares in the past two months:September 21:Hillary Clinton tweets about price gouging, and the whole biotech market slumps.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -5%September 28:Valeant’s CEO Mike Pearson sent a company-wide email addressing concerns about the stock price that had fallen by about 20% over the last week. Later that day,Democrats on the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote a letter asking their chairman to subpoena Valeant for information on their pricing strategies. The cherry on top of a not-so-great day for Valeant came that afternoon when short-selling firmCitron Research published a report questioning the company’s drug prices.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -17%October 2-5:The stock continues to tumble. By Monday Oct. 5, Valeant’s stock had lost nearly one thirdof its value.Percent change: -10%October 15:Valeant receives subpoena requests from the US attorney’s office for the District of Massachusetts and also from the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -5%October 21:Citron accuses Valeant offraud, asking if it is the”pharmaceutical Enron.” The short-seller opens a whole new front in the campaign against Valeant bycalling it outfor its relationship with Philidor, a specialty pharmacy. These pharmacies aremeant to help patients that have prescriptions whichrequire a little more attention, such as medications that require refrigeration. Citron alleged that Valeant was using Philidor to jack up the prices of drugs.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -19%October 22:As more information about Valeant and its relationship with Philidor emerged, the stock’s price continued to fall. Valeant categorically denied any wrongdoing.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -7%October29:CVS removes Philidor from its network, citing “noncompliance”as its reason. Express Scripts andUnitedHealth’s OptumRx,companiesthat manage pharmacy benefits, also ended its relationship with Philidor.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -5%October 30:The next morning, Valeant breaks up with Philidor. That same day, activist investor Bill Ackman defendedhislarge investment in Valeant with a four-hour-long conference call. Investors weren’t convinced.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -16%November 4:The Senate launches an investigation into price gouging, looking intoValeant’s pricing strategies alongwithTuring Pharmaceuticals and two other drug companies.Not to be outdone, Democrats in the House of Representativeslaunched a drug pricing task force, and in a letter sent to the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Democrats on the committeecalledfor a hearing on Valeant and Turing later this month.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -6%November 5:The Wall Street Journal published an email sent by Ackman to ValeantCEOJ. Michael Pearson, in which Ackman tells Pearson his “reputation is at grave risk.” The email brings into question Pearson’s leadership of the company.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -14%November 12: Stock hits a two-year low, closing at $73.77 after a US judge decides Valeant and Ackman must face a lawsuit accusing them ofinsider trading before Valeant attempted to acquire Botox-maker Allergan. Although the event was unrelatedto the recent drama, the stock still slumped.Percent change in stock from prior day’s close: -7%Total percent change, Sept. 18 to Nov. 12: 69.5%CHECK OUT:One chart shows how common it is for drug companies to do what Martin Shkreli didNEXT:Martin Shkreli is still refusing to answer to the US government for jacking up the price of a critical drug, and he’s not aloneJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: NASA says Antarctica is gaining ice
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