Investors have learned to dig deep when Bausch Health Companies (NYSE:BHC) reports its quarterly numbers. The drugmaker reported a 1.9% year-over-year revenue decline in its fourth-quarter update in February, for example. But that decline stemmed largely from divestitures and discontinuations of products. The company's financial update looked much better after adjusting for these factors.

Bausch Health announced its first-quarter results before the market opened on Monday, and again, investors needed to look beyond the headline numbers to get a sense of the real picture. Here's what you need to know. 

A variety of pills on top of $100 bills

Image source: Getty Images.

Bausch Health results: The raw numbers

Metric 

Q1 2019 

Q1 2018 

Year-Over-Year Change

Sales

$2.02 billion $2.0 billion

1%

Net income from continuing operations

($52 million) ($2.58 billion)

N/A

Diluted earnings per share (EPS)

($0.15) ($7.36)

N/A

Data Source: Bausch Health. N/A = Not Applicable.

What happened this quarter?

Although Bausch Health's year-over-year sales growth looks paltry, the company's overall organic sales grew 5% in Q1. That was their highest level of organic growth since Q3 2015.

The company's Bausch + Lomb/International segment fueled most of this growth. Revenue for the segment increased by 1% year over year to $1.12 billion. On an organic basis, the segment's revenue jumped by 8% over the prior-year period. Sales volume increased across all business units, especially in global vision care, global consumer, and international Rx.

Bausch Health's Salix business segment also performed well. The company reported revenue of $445 million, up 5% year over year on both a reported and an organic basis thanks to solid sales growth for Xifaxan and Relistor.

However, the news wasn't as good for Bausch Health's other two segments. Ortho dermatologics revenue fell 1% year over year to $138 million, while sales in its diversified products segment dropped by 5% to $315 million. These declines resulted primarily from the loss of exclusivity for several products.

Although the company reported a net loss again, its bottom line looked better than it did in Q4, thanks to a better revenue picture for Bausch Health, lower interest expenses, and a lower loss on extinguishment of debt.

What management had to say

CEO Joseph Papa said:

Bausch Health is off to a strong start in 2019 with the continued growth of Xifaxan which grew 11% in the quarter, the launch of Bryhali, the successful acquisition of Trulance, and the approval of Duobrii and expected launch in June. We believe that our promising pipeline and focus on Project CORE (cost optimization and revenue enhancements) has positioned the Company to build on our growth in 2019 and beyond. ... With nearly 60% of our revenues coming from a diversified mix of medical devices, OTC products and prescription and branded generic products that are not exposed to the U.S. branded prescription drug pricing environment, we believe that Bausch Health is uniquely positioned to grow in healthcare.

Looking forward

Bausch Health increased its full-year 2019 guidance. The company now expects revenue of between $8.35 billion and $8.55 billion, up from its previous forecast range of $8.3 billion to $8.5 billion. It also raised its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance range to between $3.4 billion and $3.55 billion, up from the prior forecast range of $3.35 billion to $3.5 billion. 

The main thing investors will want to watch in the coming months now is how well Bausch Health's product launches perform. As Papa mentioned, the company expects to launch plaque psoriasis drug Duobrii in June. That treatment is a key component in Bausch Health's plan to return to consistent growth.