Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Focus Stocks: C, AAPL, QCOM, IMAX, VRUS

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is part of a bidding group that includes Centerbridge Partners LP and Leucadia National Corp. engaged in exclusive talks to buy the consumer-lending business formerly known as CitiFinancial from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The consortium plans to write a large equity check and borrow significant sums to finance the purchase, the Journal said.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has placed orders for key components to be used in a next-generation iPhone anticipated for launch during the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new version would be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and sport an 8-megapixel camera, and it’s expected to operate on wireless baseband chips suppled by Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) on Tuesday announced a joint revenue sharing agreement with ZON Lusomundo Cinemas to install three new digital IMAX(R) theatre systems in Portugal. The deal marks the first IMAX theatres to open in Portugal. Under the terms of the agreement, the systems will be installed in existing theatres in different parts of the country, with the first expected to open by the end of the year. All three locations are expected to open before the end of 2012.

Pharmasset, Inc. (NASAQ: VRUS) announced Tuesday that it has entered into a clinical collaboration agreement with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to evaluate in a Phase 2 study the safety and efficacy of PSI-7977, Pharmasset's investigational nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, in combination with TMC435, Tibotec Pharmaceuticals' investigational protease inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus.

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