Bausch Health Cos. Inc. on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter and full-year results, beating Street estimates. The company also said it plans to add two directors as a result of pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, sales were down slightly to $2.21 billion from $2.22 billion in the year-ago quarter. Bausch & Lomb Inc. revenues were more than half of that at $1.24 billion. Bausch Health reported a net loss for the quarter of $153 million, compared with a net loss of $1.52 billion in the same quarter last year. Adjusted net income for the quarter was $478 million, up from $404 million a year ago.
On a per-share basis, Bausch Health reported a 43-cent loss, compared with a $4.30 loss in the year-ago quarter.
For the full year, revenues were $8.03 billion, down 7 percent from $8.6 billion in fiscal 2019. Bausch & Lomb sales were $4.41 billion for the year, down from $4.74 billion in 2019. The company reported a $560 million net loss for the full year, compared with a loss of $1.79 billion in 2019. Adjusted net income for the year was $1.43 billion, compared with $1.56 billion in 2019.
Bausch Health reported a $1.58 loss per share for the year, compared with a $5.08 loss in fiscal 2019.
“Despite unprecedented business challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m proud that Bausch Health finished the year strong and outperformed the high end of our latest revenue guidance range,” said Joseph Papa, Bausch Health chairman and CEO. “During the pandemic-related downturn, we focused our efforts on growing market share for key promoted products, carefully managed our expenses and continued to invest in our pipeline for future growth opportunities. We generated cash from operations of more than $1.1 billion, which helped us to repay approximately $900 million of our debt.”
The company repaid debt of $900 million in 2020 using cash generated from operations and more efficient cash management, officials noted.
“We are continuing to execute on our business recovery from the pandemic, and we are well positioned to benefit from recovery-related tailwinds and capitalize on our key growth drivers and catalysts in 2021 as we remain focused on how best to unlock value in the Company, including the planned spinoff of Bausch & Lomb,” Papa said.
Bausch Health expects full-year sales to range from $8.6 billion to $8.8 billion, with adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 billion to $3.55 billion.
Separately, the company said it will expand its board of directors to add two designees from Carl Icahn and the Icahn Group, including Icahn’s son, Brett Icahn and Steven Miller, both portfolio managers at Icahn Capital. Icahn and Miller will join the board in mid-March and will be up for re-election at the company’s annual meeting in April, officials said.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the Icahn Group and welcome Messrs. B. Icahn and Miller to our board of directors,” Papa said in a statement. “Our new colleagues bring a wealth of transaction experience to our board, which will serve us well as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities, including our previously announced intention to spin off our leading eye health business. Together, we are aligned and focused on unlocking unrecognized value in Bausch Health, and we look forward to building on the significant progress we have already made in capitalizing on areas of unmet medical need, gaining market share in key growth areas and positioning our businesses to deliver long-term, sustainable value for our shareholders.”
Weeks ago, the elder Icahn — who led the charge in dismantling Xerox Holdings Corp.’s board when its previous leadership attempted to merge with FujiFilm in 2018 — disclosed that he owned a nearly 8 percent stake in the Canadian Bausch Health.
“Our discussions with Bausch Health have been productive,” Carl Icahn said. “We continue to believe there are opportunities to drive further value for all shareholders, and we look forward to collaborating with the board and management and contributing meaningfully to the company’s ongoing strategic review.”
In addition to their board appointments Icahn and Miller will be appointed to two board committees, the Finance and Transactions Committee and the committee assisting with evaluating strategic alternatives, including the potential spin off of Bausch & Lomb.
Shares of company stock Wednesday (NYSE: BHC) opened at $31.39 and by midafternoon had grown to $31.64.
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