Apple Eyes New Acquisition, Rio Tinto’s Production Ramp, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Apple is reportedly engaging in early discussions for the acquisition of Prime Sense, an Israeli firm whose gesture-control chip technology was used in Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) first-generation Kinect device. The company could go for an estimated $280 million in a deal that started with Apple simply being interested in purchasing the company’s products.

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Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO): Iron ore production surged 7 percent for the second quarter, reaching a record 66 million tons despite the bad weather and technical problems that have plagued the industry. Copper production was also up 10 percent. The company is hoping to increase its annual operating capacity by 10 percent to 290 million tons by the end of September.

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Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT): The Italian Senate struck down a motion asking for a block on Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet purchases and agreed that any further purchases of F-35s must be approved by Parliament on Tuesday. Rampant financial woes in the country have stirred a heated debate over plans to spend $15.4 billion over the next 45 years on the planes, while President Giorgio Napolitano has said the decision to buy the aircraft rests with the government, not Parliament.

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ThermoGenesis Corp. (NASDAQ:KOOL): ThermoGenesis will be merging with the privately held TotipotentRx, a cell-based regenerative medicine company. Under the terms, Thermo will issue 12.491 million shares, worth some $18.6 million, to TotipotentRx. The deal, which Thermo CEO Matthew Plavan calls “transformative,” is projected to close in the forth quarter.

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Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE): Merk KGaA of Germany and Life Technologies will be forming an alliance to work on a broad range of Life instrument platforms and therapeutic areas, and will initially cover a project for oncology.

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