Shares of Bausch Health Cos. Inc. were down 2.3% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the company said it faced continued pressure on sales from the COVID-19 pandemic into the first quarter of this year. Bausch had a loss of $610 million, or $1.71 per share, in the first quarter of 2021, compared with a loss of $152 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Bausch did not provide adjusted earnings per share for the quarter. The company reported $2.02 billion in sales for the first quarter of the year, up from $2.01 billion in the like quarter a year ago. The FactSet consensus was $2.05 billion. Much of Bausch’s business continues to be affected by the pandemic, it said, citing declining sales of irritable bowel syndrome drug Xifaxin and lower sales of eye-care products for the quarter. Bausch said it still plans to move forward with spinning off the Bausch + Lomb eye-care business, which had $881 million in sales for the quarter, up from $875 million in the first quarter of 2020. Bausch’s other business focuses on pharmaceuticals; it had $1.14 billion in sales, compared with $1.13 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Bausch’s stock has gained 51.0% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 is up 11.6%.
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