Microsoft Investors Push for Change, Tiffany’s New Hire, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Three — if not more — of Microsoft’s leading 20 investors reportedly want the company to appoint a turnaround specialist as CEO Steve Ballmer’s replacement, and they are pushing for the consideration of Ford chief Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie. Mulally has pledged to stay with the automaker through 2014, but said that leaving earlier could be a possibility should the right opportunity come along.

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Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF): Tiffany & Co. awarded Francesca Amfitheatrof with the position of its new design director, where she will oversee all of the company’s products. Amfitheatrof has worked at Chanel, Fendi, and Marni, and most recently served as the founding partner of RS&A, a London-based agency representing contemporary artists.

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Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA): Boeing is planning to raise the number of planes it delivers to China to 120 this year, from 80 in 2012, in order to meet growing demand for air travel. ”We’ve seen strong domestic demand in China,” Boeing’s vice president of marketing, Randy Tinseth, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The fundamentals are strong.” Boeing raised its 20-year demand forecast for China’s aircraft market last week in at least the fourth straight year in which the company has increased its estimate for the world’s second-biggest economy.

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Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA): Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit has appointed Jeff Shell to take charge of its film division, moving longtime studio executive Ron Meyer to a new vice chairman position. Seeking Alpha notes that “the appointment is significant because it replaces old Universal blood with new Comcast blood.”

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PetroChina (NYSE:PTR): PetroChina might put down some $10 billion on Russian gas fields as a part of efforts made by China and Russia to conclude gas-supply negotiations that have been wallowing on for nearly a decade, Bloomberg reports. A $10 billion acquisition would mark PetroChina’s biggest purchase abroad, the publication reports.

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