Valeant's still in the deal hunt, but it can grow 10%-plus without them, CEO says

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson

In the wake of Valeant's Allergan ($AGN) bid failure, rumors swirled that the serial buyer would swear off its modus operandi for a while to focus on cutting down debt. But according to CEO J. Michael Pearson, those who expect Valeant ($VRX) to stray from its dealmaking ways have another thing coming.

The company's "business development activities will remain the priority for 2015," he told investors on a conference call Thursday, noting that the Canadian pharma expects a "steady flow of small and medium-sized deals" to continue over the course of the year. It's continuing to evaluate larger transactions, too, but the timing of those "remains difficult to predict."

Still, the Quebec-based pharma is doing its best to convince its shareholders--and potential takeover targets--that it's self-sufficient. After a months-long attack from Allergan on its business model and comparatively paltry R&D activities, Pearson Thursday touted Valeant's pipeline and organic growth, which he expects to see climb to 10% to 12% this year.

Revenue from new products--which Pearson plans to promote aggressively--should help Valeant generate a top-line haul ranging between $9.2 billion and $9.3 billion, the pharma figures. Cash earnings will hit between $10.10 and $10.40 per share, it predicts.

In the meantime, Pearson's putting his money where his mouth is. He's extended his contract by 5 years, but going forward, he'll do away with his base salary. His compensation will be wholly dependent on the company's stock performance.

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