Apple’s Cook Makes Congressional Appearance, EA Drops Online Pass, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): CEO Tim Cook is set to testify before a congressional hearing in regards to Apple’s mountainous pile of offshore cash (some $100 billion), but Cook is defending Apple even prior to the questioning. He maintains that Apple does not funnel domestic profits overseas: “We don’t do that. We pay taxes on all the products we sell in the U.S., and we pay every dollar that we owe. And so I’d like to be really clear on that,” Cook said.

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AAPL

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA): New York Times digital chief Denise Warren will be replacing Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, on EA’s board of directors. The company is also folding the controversial Online Pass program, hated by many for the fees it charged to enable online content for console games.

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EA

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM): The oil company narrowly avoided a strike from the United Steel Workers at its Baytown facility, when the company and the USW reached accords on three separate contracts. Exxon agreed to establish a limit on the number of consecutive days an employee can work at the refinery, and create a full-time process safety representative to address safety concerns, among other changes.

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XOM

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM): Wedbush’s Steve Koenig says that integrator checks at Salesforce indicate that “Service Cloud is picking up significantly, and the company continues to see good growth from Sales Cloud and force.com.” “Also,” Koenig continued, “our checks suggest the company has plenty of running room to sell new instances into large accounts, in support of additional division-level and departmental CRM systems, including additional sales automation systems, as well as new deployments of Service Cloud and custom-built force.com applications.” The firm reiterated its Outperform rating on Salesforce shares.

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CRM

Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI): Shares are nosing downwards after a quarterly report that saw misses on both earnings and revenue fronts. EPS of  -$0.02 missed by $0.11, and revenue of $379 million was off by $9.43 million. However, despite soft results, the company reaffirmed its full-year guidance, as execs say they ended the period with a “clean” inventory position and think pent-up demand could help sales recover in the second quarter.

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