Insights

Don't worry, you don't own Valeant

You perhaps have noticed Valeant Pharmaceuticals in headlines recently. First, the company made news for hiking the prices of life-saving drugs, in some cases quadrupling the prices. Then, the company’s relationship with an affiliated mail-order pharmacy came under scrutiny, prompting comparisons to Enron. Most recently, Valeant’s interim CEO testified before Congress about its pricing practices. (The notorious Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, refused to answer questions during this hearing. Turing is privately held and not eligible for investment by the Domini Funds.)

At Domini Social Investments, our investment standards led us to designate Valeant ineligible for investment a year ago. Before reports of price hikes and shady subsidiaries hit the headlines, we were concerned about the company’s culture and business model – acquiring companies and slashing spending on research & development and on taxes. Valeant spends about 3% of its revenue on R&D, compared to 15% for typical pharmaceutical companies. And by taking advantage of the company’s Canadian mailing address, Valeant (and any companies it acquires) pay only 5% in corporate income tax, instead of the much higher US rate. This ethos of cost-cutting and profit above all else also led the company to delay FDA-required studies on drugs the company was marketing.

For now, the company’s culture is costing its investors dearly. Thankfully, we are not among them. And while we cannot predict what its stock price will do in the future, the Domini Funds will continue to avoid Valeant as long as its values – social as well as economic – are not in line with our own.

 


The Domini Funds are not insured and are subject to market risks such as sector concentration and style risk. Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, social and economic instability, differing securities regulations and accounting standards, limited public information, possible changes in taxation, and periods of illiquidity. You may lose money.

The composition of the Funds’ portfolios is subject to change. View the most current list of the Domini Social Equity Fund and Domini International Social Equity Fund's holdings. This commentary should not be considered a recommendation of the financial attractiveness as an investment of any of the companies mentioned. This material must be preceded or accompanied by a current prospectus. Please read it carefully before investing.


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Before investing, consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. View or order a prospectus. Read it carefully.

The Domini Funds are distributed by DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD), Member FINRA. Domini Impact Investments LLC (Domini) is the Funds’ investment manager. The Funds are subadvised by Wellington Management Company LLP. DSILD and Domini are not affiliated with Wellington Management Company LLP.

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