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Bausch Health Companies Inc. is darkening its earnings forecast for the year after losing cash in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Shares of Bausch Health Companies Inc. fell more than eight per cent as the company lowered its 2020 forecast after a loss in in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Quebec-based pharmaceutical and medical device company dropped its outlook by nearly 10 per cent, with expectations for revenue at about US$8-billion from US$8.75-billion and adjusted earnings at roughly US$3.25-billion from US$3.6-billion.

The move comes as Bausch reports a first-quarter loss of US$152-million, compared to a net loss of US$52-million a year earlier.

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The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, cites decreased sales across most segments as well as higher expenses and litigation charges.

Bausch says revenue remained relatively flat at $2.01 billion in the quarter ended March 31 versus $2.02-billion in 2019, with the pandemic accounting for a $35-million loss.

Adjusted earnings reached 90 cents per share compared to $1.02 per share last year, slightly beating analyst expectations of 87 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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