Here's Why BlackBerry Soared Today -- Tech Roundup

Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) jumped by 5.5% Friday, closing at $8.02 per share, on the first day that its new Android-powered Priv smartphone was available to consumers.

"Today is only the first of many great days, and many of our other carriers and retail partners will soon begin offering Priv in more markets, including Germany, Hong Kong and the Netherlands," CEO John Chen said in a blog post.

Once an industry leader, BlackBerry has been struggling for several years as its products have lagged behind more popular smartphones, especially Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. Blackberry's smartphone business now accounts for just 1% of the worldwide market.

Read TheStreet's report today on BlackBerry.

Separately, Chen said his company is planning to make more acquisitions as its handset business struggles.

"We are still a $3 billion company and have over $3 billion in cash," Chen said in an interview Friday with Bloomberg. "We are pouring most of that into research and development.

Chen said BlackBerry aims to have a half-billion dollars in software revenue within six months.

"We lost our number one position (in phone sales) in 2007. Everybody had a BlackBerry back then," Chen told the news service. "If we don't get a good hardware business going, we will more consider the software side."

Apple released its first iPhone in July 2007.


Shares of Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) , China's large online shopping site, dropped by 2.1%, closing at $83.61, after the company said it would buy video service Youku Tudou (YOKU) in a deal estimated at $4.8 billion. Youku Tudou's stock rose by 7.3%, closing at $26.14.

"Youku is the YouTube of China and has a lot of customer engagement," said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who rates Alibaba a neutral, Bloomberg reported.

"They'll buy more content. They'll buy more content-delivery platforms."

Read TheStreet's report on the acquisition.

Alibaba shares rose early in the day on news of the deal. But they began to slump after short-seller Jim Chanos named Alibaba a short at a conference. Chanos, president of Kynikos Associates, said he pitched the Chinese e-commerce company as a short because of "accounting concerns," according to CNBC.

Read TheStreet's report on what Chanos had to say.

Shares of Yahoo! (YHOO) , which is a minority shareholder in Alibaba, were also affected Friday. Yahoo! stock declined by 2.6%, closing at $34.20. 


Privately held Square, the digital payments company run by Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, on Friday said it would price its upcoming initial public offering at $11 to $13 per share.

That would give Square a valuation lower than the $6 billion valuation it secured in its last financing round.

At an IPO price of $13, Square would be valued at roughly $4.2 billion, based on the number of outstanding shares.

If Square ends up pricing its IPO mid-point at $12, it would have to issue investors in his most recent financing round about 5.3 million additional shares, Re/code reported.  


Tableau Software (DATA) soared by 21.4% Friday, closing at $102.44, after the company reported earnings on Thursday that beat expectations.

Tableau reported adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share. Revenue increased by 64% year over year to $170.8 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 7 cents per share on revenue of $157.61 million.

Read TheStreet's report on Tableau's earnings.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer is a big fan of the stock.

"This is one of my favorites," said Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, on CNBC's "Stop Trading" segment.


TrueCar (TRUE) rose by a whopping 37.5%, closing at $8.43, after the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the third quarter.

TrueCar, an online car buying service, reported a loss of 3 cents a share for the third quarter, beating analysts' estimates of a loss of 5 cents a share. Revenue grew 27.6% year over year to $72.4 million for the quarter, above analysts' estimates of $66.21 million for the quarter.

Read TheStreet's report.

 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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