UPDATE 2-Valeant sees strong results, shares jump 15 pct
* Sees Q4 cash earnings of 44 cents to 48 cents
* Sees Q4 revenue of $510 million to $520 million
* Says integration proceeding faster than expected
* Sees more than $250 million in savings in 2011
(Adds analyst commentary, details; updates shares; in U.S. dollars unless noted)
By S. John Tilak
TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) on Thursday said it expected to report quarterly results that could exceed what analysts on average had expected and issued a 2011 outlook that topped their forecasts.
Shares of the Canadian drugmaker jumped 15 percent after the announcement. With Thursday's gains, the stock has more than doubled since last June, when Biovail said it would buy U.S.-based Valeant for $3.3 billion and assume the Valeant name.
The latest forecasts reinforced investors optimism as the integration of the two operations proceeds at a faster-than-expected pace.
On Thursday, Valeant said 400 employees out of the 500 who are losing their jobs as a result of the combination will have left by the end of the first quarter of 2011. It also said it expects to realize more than $250 million in savings in 2011.
"I've never seen a company that's gone through a major acquisition as fast as Valeant has," Jefferies & Co analyst Corey Davis said.
Valeant has acquired about five companies in 2010 alone, buying growth in areas ranging from dermatology to branded generics.
Analysts expect the company to continue on the path of aggressively making acquisitions.
The outlook, boosted by the cost synergies, surpassed some of the most optimistic expectations.
"I expected it to be good. I didn't think it would be that good," Davis said.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Valeant expects to report cash earnings of 44 cents to 48 cents a share on revenue of $510 million to $520 million. Analysts had been looking for earnings of 45 cents a share on revenue of $502.7 million.
For 2011, the company forecast cash earnings of $2.25 to $2.50 a share on revenue of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.21 a share on revenue of $2.09 billion.
Its shares shot up 15 percent to C$34.32 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and $34.45 on the New York Stock Exchange.
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by S. John Tilak; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Galloway) (email@example.com; +1 416 687 7918)
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