Wall Street Brief: EU and Microsoft Face Off, RIM Earnings On Deck

CEO Robert McDonald of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) may lose his job if the company’s cost-cutting and product-refocus programs don’t revive its fortunes, reported The Wall Street Journal. This comes on three years of declining profits, earnings warnings in 2012, falling market share and unsuccessful product launches. P&G’s board is also coming under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman to get it together.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will release its FQ2 earnings after the bell on Thursday. Analysts expect the troubled smartphone company to report a $0.47 per share loss vs. the previous year’s $0.80 profit. Revenue is seen dropping 40 percent to $2.49 billion. In the past few days, RIMM’s shares have been on the rise after CEO Thorsten Heins said that the company’s subscriber base has increased by 2 million in recent months to 80 million. This comes on forecasts expecting a decline.

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The EU is getting ready to charge Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for not fulfilling a 2009 ruling that said the company needs to give consumers Web browser choices. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said, “It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement.” If the company is found guilty, it could see penalties of up to 10 percent from its worldwide revenues.

Brazilian authorities have detained Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) head of operations after the company failed to comply with a court order to remove YouTube videos criticizing a local-election candidate. It could also see fines if it doesn’t get rid of the “Innocence of the Muslims” video from Brazilian YouTube. The Brazilian actions against Google comes after Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Transocean (NYSE:RIG) executives faced troubles in the country from their oil-spill case.

Tempur-Pedic (NYSE:TPX) will purchase its competitor Sealy (NYSE:ZZ) for $2.20 per share; the deal is worth a total of $1.3 billion with debt.  The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013. Sealy shares closed at $2.14 on Wednesday and in pre-market trading, Sealy shares were up 5.1 percent to $2.14 premarket. Investors may see a bidding war.

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