Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc topples RBC to emerge as Canada’s most valuable company

Valeant CEO Michael Pearson has grown the company rapidly through acquisitions.

MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has surpassed Royal Bank of Canada as the country\’s largest company by market price after shares increased in the wake of solid second quarter results.

Valeant surged a lot more than nine per cent to a 52-week-high of $341.02 per share to achieve a market worth of $116.3 billion around the Toronto Stock Exchange, eclipsing RBC’s $108.9 billion.

Quebec’s pharmaceutical giant has advanced 105 per cent this year, and the stock has shot beyond the analysts’ 12-month target cost of $336 per share. Eighteen analysts possess a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, four get it on ‘hold’ and one has a ‘sell’ recommendation, Bloomberg data shows.

“We do not see this business slowing down any time soon,” wrote Alex Arfaei, an analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns, in a note Thursday.

Health care stocks are the best-performing sector on the S&P/TSX index over the past year, up 118 percent during that period.

The drugmaker’s meteoric rise this year saw its stock surpass Toronto-Dominion Bank in May, after passing Bank of Nova Scotia in February.

Valeant CEO Michael Pearson says the most recent results demonstrate the company’s ability to grow without acquisitions by boosting its guidance for 2015 after reporting their fourth consecutive quarter in excess of 15 per cent organic growth.

“Our M&A strategy will always be an issue of tuck-ins or bolt-ons, and opportunistically larger acquisitions. One can never predict the timing of a larger acquisition then when those happen, those happen,” said Valeant CEO Michael Pearson on a conference call Thursday. “We don’t use them a timeline.”