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Why Bausch Health Companies Stock Tumbled Today

By Keith Speights - Updated Mar 9, 2020 at 3:42PM

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Hint: It's what caused nearly every stock to sink.

What happened

Shares of Bausch Health Companies (BHC 20.36%) are tumbling today, down 11.9% as of 3:20 p.m. EDT. The big drop resulted from the major stock market sell-off that was caused by continued worries about the global novel coronavirus outbreak and plunging oil prices.

So what

It would be understandable for Bausch Health stock to tank if its business would be significantly affected by the coronavirus epidemic or by lower oil prices. But that's not the case.

Man with hands on head facing a declining stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

Bausch Health makes the lion's share of its revenue from vision-care products and prescription drugs. How many customers are likely to quit wearing contacts because of the coronavirus? How many patients won't take Xifaxan for treating irritable bowel syndrome because oil prices are dirt cheap? The likely answer: zero.

There's no surprise that nearly every stock will drop on a day like today, given the major market indexes fell so sharply that trading had to be temporarily halted. But Bausch Health is one of the stocks that appear to have gotten swept up in the panic selling for no reason related to its actual business prospects.

Now what

That's not to say that Bausch Health is a great healthcare stock to buy right now. The company faces challenges, including sinking sales for several of its drugs due to loss of exclusivity. Bausch Health also has a huge debt load to service. There are plenty of reasons investors may want to avoid the stock -- but the coronavirus and plunging oil prices aren't among them.

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