Why AstraZeneca (AZN) Stock Is Higher This Morning

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AstraZeneca Plc.  (AZN) are up 0.54% to $72.55 in pre-market trade after it was reported that  BlackRock (BLK), one of the pharma company's major shareholders, urged the U.K. firm's board to eventually re-engage in talks with Pfizer Inc. (PFE) over a possible deal, but backed its rejection of Pfizer's $120 million offer this week, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Blackrock's views could be particularly important for both companies because of its about 8% stake in AstraZeneca and because it is also one of Pfizer's top five shareholders, the Journal noted.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ASTRAZENECA PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ASTRAZENECA PLC (AZN) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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