For the first time since 2015, we’re seeing organic growth: Valeant Pharma CEO

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As shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals rallied nearly 9 percent after the company’s earnings report, Chairman and CEO Joseph Papa joined CNBC’s Jim Cramer to explain the move.

In a “Mad Money” interview, Papa said Valeant’s Salix unit, which makes gastrointestinal treatments, and its Bausch & Lomb arm, which makes optical products, were the company’s “growth drivers.”

Together, the two account for 76 percent of Valeant’s business. And while the company reported a first-quarter loss, Salix and Bausch & Lomb, combined, grew by 10 percent.

It was the first time since 2015 that Valeant delivered organic growth, Papa told Cramer.

Valeant also announced on Tuesday that it would change its name to Bausch Health Companies, mirroring the name of its flagship optics unit.

“It’s a 165-year-old company, Bausch & Lomb, and, importantly, has a great legacy of innovation,” Papa said on “Mad Money.” “They came out with some of the first eyeglasses. They came out with some of the first soft contact lenses. So we’re building on that innovation.”

The CEO said that changing the name would broadcast that his company doesn’t just make pharmaceuticals, but also manufactures other medical devices and products.

One of Valeant’s newest products, Xifaxan, which treats irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal symptoms, hit $1 billion in sales just in the first quarter of 2018.

Papa said that drugs like Xifaxan would help Valeant create shareholder value and reduce its $25 billion debt hoard, $6.9 billion of which the company has paid down since 2016.

“I increased research and development this year by 15 percent because we firmly believe it is these new products that will help us to improve our earnings,” Papa told Cramer, adding that the $6.9 billion payment gave Valeant “freedom to operate” and innovate.

“[Now,] we can invest in products like Xifaxn … and then grow those products to help patients, to help improve their lives,” the CEO said. “That’s what we think’s going to help us drive the long-term shareholder value for our company.”

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