Microsoft Slashes Surface Prices, Nokia Unlikely to Sell Phone Arm, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is planning on cutting $150 off its Surface RT tablets, with the base model now a more approachable $349, presumably to spur demand for the slower-selling tablet line. The price difference will take effect Sunday, and breaks just after Microsoft indicated it would be offering replacement Surface RT and Surface Pro models at its Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday.

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Nokia (NYSE:NOK): Following advanced talks with Microsoft about selling its phone business, Nokia chief Stephen Elop says it’s “hard to understand the rationale” to pursue that route. “That possibility to be successful is there,” Elop said, adding, “If we keep executing well and keep delivering, then our future can be quite bright.” His comments come on the heels of Nokia’s release of the Lumia 1020, which has been met with largely positive reviews.

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BP (NYSE:BP): The next couple of weeks could potentially see a ruling from a federal appeals court over the oil company’s allegations that a claim an administrator misinterpreted a settlement the company reached over the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The company is concerned over the ”hemorrhaging of possibly billions of dollars” due to the administrator’s potential miscalculation of business losses from the incident.

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SodaStream International (NASDAQ:SODA): A downgrade to Perform from Oppenheimer has caused SodaStream shares to deflate somewhat, although some — like Seeking Alpha contributor Jacob Steinberg — believe that the market is overreacting to the lack of interest from the major soft drink players, and that a forward P/E of 25 for a high-growth flyer is very reasonable, according to Steinberg.

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United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS): UPS is expecting its earnings per share to weigh in at $1.13 during the second quarter, below the consensus estimate of $1.20. Full-year 2013 earnings per share guidance has also been cut to $4.65-$4.85, below the $4.98 consensus, citing slowing package volume growth due to labor negotiations and the general sluggishness being experienced in the industrial economy.

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