News Corp. Settles Hacking Lawsuit, Toyota’s Hydrogen Ambitions, and 3 More Hot Stocks

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA): A judge in Delaware has approved a a $139 million cash settlement between News Corp. and its shareholders in a lawsuit resulting from the British phone hacking scandal, as well as the purchase of an entertainment company run by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter. The damage and resulting financial fallout resulted in the folding of the best-selling News of the World, after 168 years.

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Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): Toyota shares a re heating up after the company announced its intentions to unveil its hydrogen-powered sedan at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, which the company is hoping will emulate the sales success of its class-leading Prius. Hydrogen technology has historically been prohibitively expensive, making Toyota’s plans all the more intriguing.

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ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG): Shares are up over 5 percent, riding on the news that the company beat its EPS estimates for FQ4, though it fell shy on revenue. However, milling operations will be combined into a joint venture with Cargill, which well help reduce costs and will be accretive to earnings within a couple of years. The company’s acquisition of Ralcorp, which is expected to add $300 million in cost-related synergies by the end of 2017, also contributed to the quarterly results.

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Medtronic (NYSE:MDT): The company’s SynchroMed infusion pump has been recalled by the FDA as a result of 14 deaths since 1996, due to a due to flaws in the device. Eleven patients died because of the inadvertent injection of a drug into subcutaneous tissue rather than into the pump, while two died from a blockage, and another because of an electrical short.

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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM): Shares have cratered some 20 percent, after the announcement that its bavituximab drug, when combined with the carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapies, failed to improve survival rates for patients with Stage IIIb and Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (or NSCLC) in a Phase II trial vs just carboplatin and paclitaxel on their own. However, the company still intends to launch a second Phase III trial for second-line NSCLC by the year-end.

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