Morning Beat: BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), Walt Disney Co (DIS), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

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No other time has BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) prospects in the smartphone business looked brighter than ever with the BlackBerry Priv. The Canadian company hopes the smartphone will kick start its resurgence in the industry after years of battering from the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has ensured that everything that can be done on other smartphones can be done on Priv. Ease of use and security are some of the capabilities that the company hopes will give its new piece of innovation an edge in the highly competitive industry.

BlackBerry Priv is the last piece of hope for Blackberry, CEO John Chen having reiterated they may exit the business should the handset unit fail to turn in profit next year.

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) CEO, Bob Iger, remains bullish over ESPN’s long-term prospects even as the Street remains wary of the sports network’s ability to hold subscribers. The brand remains strong according to the executive as seen by solid TV ratings as live TV. Live sports continue to thrive in the industry.

The sentiments did little to quash investors’ concerns as the stock fell by more than 9%, the worst single day performance in four years. During the earnings call, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)’s Iger admitted that the media landscape was changing but reiterated Disney was up to the challenge.

A few months back, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) was a darling of the Street as big investors led by hedge funds amassed positions banking on its impressive run. As it turns out, a six-year bullish run that saw the stock add $88 billion in market value has come to an end. The stock has now shed 70% in market value in fewer than three months.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) has a huge following on the Street especially among big hedge funds; one of the reasons why its downfall has been felt far and wide. Twenty different institutional investors own stakes in the company. Combined, they have lost $40 billion since the downturn begun a few weeks back. The stock is now considered toxic as it faces two congressional probes over the way it prices its drugs.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has reached an agreement to buy California-based ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion. ZS Pharma shareholders will receive $90 a share representing a 42% premium.

The agreement is a major coup for AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) as Actelion Ltd was in talks to acquire it in September. The transaction gives the UK-based drug maker access to a blockbuster treatment for a deadly condition.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has resorted to carrying out acquisitions in the recent past to help build its pipeline of drugs as it nears the end of patent protection with some of its lead drugs.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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