It may sound facetious, but of all candidates running in the presidential primaries, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has been making the most money for Wall Street this year -- or at least those investors with a close ear on Big Pharma.
Clinton sounded the alarm on Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) in late January by throwing the full weight of her campaign at the Canadian drugmaker and calling for an end to "predatory pricing."
"I'm going after them," she said in a January campaign video, after recalling the story of a woman whose cost for Valeant's migraine medications had skyrocketed since the 1980s from $180 for 10 shots to $15,000 for the same dosage. "We are going to stop this; this is predatory pricing; it is unjustified; it is wrong; and we are going to make sure it is stopped."
At the time shares of Valeant traded at roughly $86 -- they've since fallen about 61%.
Many investors viewed Valeant as unreasonably discounted at the time -- overly pressured by congressional and SEC investigations over the company's drug pricing and revenue bookkeeping -- and held firm. But on Tuesday, Clinton's bleak outlook on Valeant was shared across most of Wall Street as shares tanked 46% in midday trading off dismal guidance, as Real Money reported.
Again, some investors eyeing Valeant believe shares have reached their bottom and that they've spotted a discount, much as Pershing Square's Bill Ackman does. Ackman's fund, a major Valeant investor, recently added its vice chairman, Steve Fraidin, to the board.
"We are going to take a much more proactive role at the company to protect and maximize the value of our investment," Ackman said in a Tuesday statement. "We continue to believe that the value of the underlying business franchises that comprise Valeant are worth multiples of the current market price. Getting to those values, however, will require restoration of shareholder confidence in the management and governance of the company."
But the question remains whether Valeant is a discount or if the mounting political storms of an election year will yield even deeper share-price troughs for the intrepid Valeant investor.
Valeant: How low can it go? Read and vote! https://t.co/cfe2o3Hzh5— RealMoney (@TSTRealMoney) March 15, 2016