Nokia’s Elop Makes New Microsoft CEO Short List and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK): Current price $7.94

According to Reuters, Microsoft Corp. is getting closer to choosing its next CEO, and Nokia’s Stephen Elop is on the shortlist. Possible candidates to replace Steve Ballmer include two internal candidates besides the former Microsoft executive Elop — former Skype chief Tony Bates, who presently leads Microsoft business development, and the current Microsoft cloud division Executive Vice President Satya Nadella. The often mentioned Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally is still on the list despite multiple protestations, Reuters reported Tuesday, and another name that might have made the list of five possible candidate is Chief Executive Mike Lawrie of the Computer Science Corporation.

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): Current price $16.95

In October, Ford and its local partners in China sold a total number of 93,969 vehicles on a wholesale basis, marking a jump of 55 percent from 2012, according to the company on Wednesday. That figure compared with a 61-percent increase in September. In the first 10 months of 2013, Ford sales came to 741,818 vehicles on a wholesale basis, up by 52 percent year-over-year. Ford has now surpassed its rival Toyota Motor Co., whose sales grew by only 4.9 percent during the first 10 months to 719,200 units.

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $37.98

Shares are up by almost 3 percent Wednesday, after the research firm Nomura wrote that Microsoft’s fiscal 2015 profits could go beyond current projections by a large amount. Analyst Rick Sherlund wrote in a note to investors that earnings per share could hit $3.80 in 2014, compared to a consensus of $2.67. Sherlund went on to say that a number of steps need to be taken for Microsoft’s earnings to attain that level, including a 10 percent reduction in spending, leaving its Xbox and Bing businesses, and a $30 billion share repurchase plan.

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