Microsoft Probe Expands, Eli Lilly Joins Chinese Bribery Scandal, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): U.S. authorities have expanded the scope of an investigation that’s looking into possible bribery at Microsoft and its resellers — it now includes allegations of wrongdoing in Russia and Pakistan. The investigation earlier looked into allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China and the company’s relationships with resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy, Bloomberg is reporting.

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Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY): China’s pharmaceutical scandal has widened yet again, now bringing Eli Lilly into the mix to join a growing and already lengthy list of multinationals suspected of bribery in the country. Local newspaper 21st Century Business Herald quoted a former senior manager who said that the firm spent more than 30 million yuan ($4.9 million) from 2011-2012 to bribe doctors to prescribe the firm’s treatments.

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Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL): Hormel has reported earnings per share of 42 cents, missing by 3 cents, though revenue of $2.16 billion beat by $0.04 billion. The company maintains its full-year guidance range of $1.88 to $1.96 and saw operating profit rise 5 percent as dollar sales of $2.2 billion were up 8 percent.

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Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD): EPS of -$1.46 missed significantly by 34 cents, and revenue came in at $8.87 billion for the period. The company’s gross margin fell 210 bps in the second quarter year over year; Kmart and Sears each saw declines.

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Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC): Time Warner Cable will be offering subscribers in regions that can’t get CBS a free preview of the Tennis Channel during the U.S. Open. The preview will offer up to 75 hours of live matches but fall short as far as the men’s or women’s finals or semi-finals, which are only available on CBS programming. Time Warner’s blackout of CBS is now heading into its third week with no resolution.

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